This book consolidates scholarship on Gujarat in English and other European languages, notably, Dutch, German, French, Italian and Portuguese. It draws together well-known sources, as well as rare and under-exploited research material. Detailed bibliographical references are provided for books, chapters, periodical literature, dissertations, project reports, other materials published since 1800; anonymous works and select government publications, such as gazetteers and census reports, are also included. The titles considered spread across the disciplinary boundaries of history, political and development studies, literature and the liberal arts, sociology, cultural and social anthropology. In these respects, the book is a comprehensive introduction to modern traditions of scholarship on Gujarat.
The reader is however also encouraged to treat the references as artefacts of power – each entry playing some role in the way we have come to know what we know about Gujarat today. Writing often has a social life, entertaining relations with other texts, with other authors, and with a readership. Annotations pointing to some of these connections are provided, especially when titles are uninformative, argument, data or provenance notable, or when serendipity has demanded. In this respect, the text can be read to trace the genealogy of certain ideas, regional traditions and preoccupations in the literature. Taken as a whole, the book can be read creatively as an alternative form of regional history, as a condensation of the literature from which current ideas about Gujarat have been formed.
The book also contains a substantial introduction based on new and original research on the key themes in the literature on Gujarat and how these themes spill into popular politics and life in the region at present. Society and History of Gujarat since 1800: A Select Bibliography of the English and European Language Sources is an invaluable guide to anyone interested in modern Gujarat, an audience which will include activists, administrators, scholars, students and others with critically informed minds.
Edward Simpson is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the School of Oriental
and African Studies, London.