Audrey TruschkeMar 10, 2023
The Language of History
Sanskrit Narratives of Indo-Muslim Rule
Columbia University Press 2021
In her layered and theoretically astute new book The Language of History: Sanskrit Narratives of Indo-Muslim Rule (Columbia UP, 2021), Audrey Truschke documents and analyzes a range of Sanskrit texts in premodern India invested in narrating and making sense of Indo-Persian political rule and governance. In a study at once ambitious and razor sharp in execution, Truschke demonstrates the importance of taking seriously the enterprise of Sanskrit historical writing in the premodern period. Historically and geographically expansive, Truschke takes her readers through a delightful tour of Sanskrit texts from a variety of genres to show their incongruity with modern conceptions of religious difference and antagonism between Hindus and Muslims. Through her close readings of Sanskrit historical texts often saturated with poetry and a keen poetic sensibility, Truschke achieves no less than a fundamental reorientation of how we imagine and approach the discipline of history. This meticulously researched and lyrically written book will be of tremendous interest to scholars of South Asia, Religion, and the wider Humanities.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His second book is called Perilous Intimacies: Debating Hindu-Muslim Friendship after Empire (Columbia University Press, 2023). His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at email@example.com. Listener feedback is most welcome.