Metanarratives and the Historiography of Everyday

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSLS2HS3128

Semester and Year Offered: Winter Semester 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Yogesh Snehi

Email of course coordinator: yogesh[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: Through the trope of ‘everyday’, this seminar paper offers insight into complex and dialectical relationship of meta-processes with ‘ordinary’ experiences of individuals and subaltern groups. The students are expected to focus on the everyday processes and use methods in social anthropology, historical sociology and historical geography to understand how orality and the everyday notions of memory, dreams, spatiality, diversity, etc. inform our understanding of historical processes. Deriving its methods from practices of oral history and study of popular sources, a student of everyday history will thus be trained to discover and creative alternate resources/archives for their chosen area of research. The student will also be encouraged to critically engage with the colonial archives and ethnography. In the process, they will learn to recognize the significance of ‘mundane’ and ordinary in decentring the idea of history.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Debate the longue durée of historical change.
  2. Contrast the role of ordinary/everyday processes and experiences with dominant narrative in the making of historical narrative.
  3. Interpret the dialectic between events/turning points in history and the lived lives.
  4. Analyse significant debates in the field of historical anthropology, historical sociology and historical geography.
  5. Demonstrate some recent tools of historical method through the chosen theme of research.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Understanding the historical ‘narrative’
  2. Canonical Texts and Lived Contexts
  3. ‘Great’ Religious Traditions and Popular Piety
  4. Modernity and its Everyday Discontents
  5. Decentring/Re-reading the Archive
  6. Orality, Dreams and Memory
  7. Debating Islamization and Sanskritization
  8. Identity, Spatiality and theory of Practice
  9. Archaeology, Heritage and its Everyday Periphery

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Seminar Paper: 75%
  • Student Presentation: 25%

Reading List:

  • Axel, Brian Keith. 2002. From the Margins: Historical Anthropology and its Futures, Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Bulkeley, Kelly. 2008. Dreaming in the World’s Religions: A Comparative History, New York: New York University Press.
  • Chakrabarty, Dipesh. 2008. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Chatterjee, Partha and Anjan Ghosh (eds). 2002. History and the Present, New Delhi: Permanent Black.
  • Chaturvedi, Vinayak (ed.). 2000. Mapping Subaltern Studies and the Postcolonial, London: Verso.
  • Cohn, S. Bernard. 1998. An Anthropologist among the Historians and Other Essays, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Connerton, Paul. 1989. How Societies Remember, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cubitt, Geoffrey. 2007. History and Memory. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Edgar, Iain R. 2004. Guide to Imagework: Imagination-Based Research Methods. London: Routledge.
  • Ghosh, Anjan, Janaki Nair and Tapati Guha-Thakurta (eds). 2011. Theorizing the Present: Essays for Partha Chatterjee, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Gottschalk, Peter. 2000. Beyond Hindu and Muslim: Multiple Identity in Narratives from Village India, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Gramsci, Antonio. 1971. Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (trans. and eds.), New York: International Publishers.
  • Lefebvre, Henri (trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith). 1991. The Production of Space, Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Lefebvre, Henri. 2002. Critique of Everyday Life, Vol. II (trans. John Moore), London: Verso.
  • Lyotard, Jean-François. 1984. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Moran, Joe. 2005. Reading the Everyday, London: Routledge.
  • Oberoi, Harjot. 1994. The Construction of Religious Boundaries: Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Olick, Jeffrey K., VeredVinitzky-Seroussi and Daniel levy. 2011. The Collective Memory Reader, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Passerini, Luisa. 2007. Memory and Utopia: The Primacy of Inter-Subjectivity (Critical Histories of Subjectivity and Culture), London: Equinox.
  • Perks, R. and A. Thomson (eds). 2006. The Oral History Reader, London: Routledge.
  • Portelli, A. 1991.The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History, New York: SUNY Press.
  • Schielke, Samuli and Liza Debevec. 2012. Ordinary Lives and Grand Schemes: An Anthropology of Everyday Religion, New York: Berghahn Books.
  • White, Hayden. 2014 (1973). Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Baltimore: John Hopkins University.