Bengal was the primary centre of East-West interaction and the first region in India to be influenced by and resonate with British culture during colonial times.
Explorations in Colonial Bengal sheds light on some important, yet relatively less-explored aspects of sociocultural changes that took place in Bengal in the colonial milieu. The essays engage with two major themes: Vaishnavism, and the society and culture of nineteenth and twentieth-century Bengal.
The contributing authors show how Vaishnavism attracted the attention of multiple ethnic communities and institutions in contemporary society. They also study relatively unknown aspects of this culture, such as the role of women in the evolution of Bengali Vaishnava traditions.
The second section addresses the society, economy, and politics of colonial Bengal and explores subjects as diverse as the close connection between history and literature; Tagore’s concepts of nationalism and his liberal humanism; the central political and ritual place assigned to water in its various forms in social relations; and Bengal’s economy and its nascent banking system during the early days of the East India Company.
Achintya Kumar Dutta is Professor of History, The University of Burdwan, West Bengal.
List of Tables and Figure
List of Images
Amiya P. Sen
Ramakanta Chakrabarty: A Tribute
SECTION I: THE MANY WORLDS OF BENGALI CULTURE
1. Texts and Traditions: Collating the Vaishnava Heritage and Issues of Authenticity in Colonial Bengal
2. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and the Making of Vaishnavism in Modern Bengal
3. The Fallen Woman and the Saint: The Baishnabi in Colonial Bengal
4. Sri Chaitanya, Jagannatha Das, and Puri: Jagannatha Charitamrita Revisited
Kailash Chandra Dash
5. Wax, Shellac, and Rabindranath Tagore: An Engagement on Record
Dipannita Dutta and Subhayu Chattopadhyay
6. Bengali Folk Responses to Hegemonic Orthodoxy and Social Hierarchy: Jari, Baul, and Maijbhandari Songs
7. Bijoy Krishna Goswami and the Reform Movement in Nineteenth-century Bengal
SECTION II: ASPECTS OF BENGALI POLITICS, SOCIETY, AND ECONOMY
8. The Other Gaze: South India in Select Bengali Historical Narrative
9. Rejection of Nationalism and Much More: Reading Tagore’s Nationalism 100 Years On
10. Seas, Rivers, Estuaries: Three Moments in the Social and Cultural History of Water-borne Circulations in Eastern India
11. Indian Finances and British Rule in Eighteenth-century Bengal
12. Nitya Gopal Mukherji: An Agricultural Enthusiast in Colonial Bengal
13. Prosperity, Dominance, and Social Mobility: Emergence of a Mobile Caste in Colonial Southwest Bengal
Achintya Kumar Dutta
Notes on the Editor and Contributors