deutsche Version
Home/Programme/Todays programme/Details
Politics as the Site of the Modern
From the Fifteenth Century to the Present
Free admission
17.10.2003 - 19.10.2003
history, identity, modernity

The conference thematizes the development of a political theory in relation to political structures and political culture, as well as models of state formation in Southeast Asia. How have they developed under the influence of Western colonial models and institutions? For example, the Indian sociologist Ashish Nandy advocates the theory that the social model of ancient India, shaped by karma, transcendence, hierarchy and timelessness, can form the foundation for developing an autonomous political culture in India. Unlike England, at the beginning of colonization India had no concept of the past which corresponded to the West’s historical concept. How was and is politics thought and defined in such a society? What was the influence of colonial England’s institutional innovations and mental apparatuses from the 19th century onwards? The conference will explore concepts of “Indianess” and Western models of political theory.

The conference “Politics as the Site of the Modern: From the Fifteenth Century to the Present” was curated by the prominent cultural anthropologist, political scientist and historian Partha Chatterjee, Kolkata University and Columbia University, and the professor for Indian history and culture at the University of Oxford, Sanjay Subrahmanyam.


Fri Oct 17

10 a.m. - 1.45 p.m.

Introduction/opening of conference

Politics and Modernity in South Asia:
Introductory Remarks
Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Partha Chatterjee

Politics and Ethics in the Vernacular Niti Tradition
Velcheru Narayana Rao

Politics in the Delhi Sultanate
Sunil Kumar

Politics in the Transmission of an Epic: Prithviraj Raso and the Mewar Court
Cynthia Talbot

3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Sufism and Political Thought in the Mughal Period
Muzaffar Alam

A Comment on Sufism and Politics in the Longue Durée
Shahid Amin

The Political Vocabulary of a Late Mughal Statesman: The Case of Mirza Azfari
Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Early Modern and Colonial Modern: Proposal for a Distinction
Partha Chatterjee

Sat, Oct 18

2 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Monuments Made and Unmade: Ayodhya and Bodh Gaya
Tapati Guha-Thakurta

The Hindi Public Sphere and Political Discourse in the Twentieth Century
Francesca Orsini

A Comment on Politics and Modernity
Dipesh Chakrabarty

Sun, Oct 19

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The Language of Politics:
Some Methodological Reflections
Sudipta Kaviraj

5.30 p.m.

Modernity and Communalism
Discussion with Sudipta Kaviraj, Aaamir Mufti, Githa Hariharan, Paul Zacharia

Moderation: Joachim Oesterheld
Language: english I german

Curators and Participants