Traces of Empire- India, America and Postcolonial Cultures: Essays and Criticism

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The culture of the modern world is, in many ways, constituted by interwoven strands of empire and resistance. The essays in this volume examine some of those strands, primarily in the contexts of India and the United States, but also in other parts of the world, such as Germany and Israel-Palestine. They highlight not only the particular histories of cultures of power and desire, but also the convergences of forms of power and desire originating in different historical settings. What, for instance, links the culture of schoolchildren in the Indian hinterland with the isolation of small-town America? What does the fact that Indian crowds stare openly at strangers have to do with police violence and race relations on the other side of the world? What might happen if Günter Grass and Rabindranath Tagore encountered Nirad Chaudhuri and Gandhi in the global space of an airport transit lounge? These questions have no easy answers, but the complexities and contradictions of the answers are what make the problems worth exploring, shedding light on the novelty as well as the familiarity of the post- September- Eleventh World.

About the Author: Satadru Sen is Associate Professor ofSouth Asian history at the City University of New York. His books include Savagery and Colonialism in the Indian Ocean: Power, Pleasure and the Andaman Islanders; Colonial Childhoods: The Juvenile Periphery of India 1850-1945; Migrant Races: Empire, Identity and K.S. Ranjitsinhji; and Disciplining Punishment: Colonialism and Convict Society in the Andaman Islands.

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