Windows into the Past
132 pages

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Judith M. Brown, one of the leading historians of South Asia, provides an original and thought-provoking strategy for conducting and presenting historical research in her latest book, Windows into the Past. Brown looks at how varieties of "life history" that focus on the lives of institutions and families, as well as individuals, offer a broad and rich means of studying history. Her distinctively creative approach differs from traditional historical biography in that it explores a variety of "life histories" and shows us how they become invaluable windows into the past.

Following her introduction, "The Practice of History," Brown opens windows on the history of South Asia. She begins with the life history of an educational institution, Balliol College, Oxford, and tracks the interrelationship between Britain and India through the lives of the British and Indian men who were educated there. She then demonstrates the significance of family life history, showing that by observing patterns of family life over several generations, it is possible to gain insight into the experiences of groups of people who rarely left historical documents about themselves, particularly South Asian women. Finally, Brown uses the life history of two prominent individuals, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, to examine questions about the nature of Indian nationalism and the emergent Indian state.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 novembre 2009
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268075750
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

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Windows into the Past
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The University of Notre Dame Press gratefully acknowledges the generous support of alumnus Robert Dilenschneider, his wife, Jan, and their sons, Georey and Peter, in the publication of titles in this series.
Judith M. Brown
Windows into the Past
Life Histories and the Historian of South Asia
University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame, Indiana
Copyright ©by University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana All Rights Reserved
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Brown, Judith M. ( Judith Margaret), ‒ Windows into the past : life histories and the historian of South Asia / Judith M. Brown. p. cm. — (Critical problems in history) Includes bibliographical references and index. -: ----: alk. paper)( pbk. -: ---( pbk. : alk. paper) —Historiography.. South Asia . India —Historiography.. South Asia —Biography.—Biography.. India . Balliol College ( University of Oxford) —Alumni and alumnae —Biography.. Family life Asia —— South Historiography.—India —Historiography.. Family life . Gandhi, Mahatma, ‒.. Nehru, Jawaharlal, ‒Title.. I. .  .— dc 
The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources.
The study of history oers us an opportunity to illuminate the work of institutions and communities, but it often overlooks the lives that are molded by those same social forces. Judith M. Brown, Beit Professor of Commonwealth History and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, the University of Oxford, is a leading historian of South Asia who has de-veloped a stimulating and provocative technique to conduct historical research. Dr. Brown explores “life histories” of families and institutions, examining them in all their richness while letting readers peer into cap-tivating “windows into the past.” In her scholarly work Professor Brown observes, “there is much to be gained from moving beyond the study of groups of similar people to a longitudinal study of families and the study of the life of dierent sorts of critical institutions.” Her astute exploration of family life history re-veals patterns over the course of generations that ultimately provide tell-ing insights into people and communities who often left little historical documentation that could assist researchers. In recent decades the study of history itself has become a conten-tious issue. How we interpret the past, often through the lens of politics, religion, and ideology, says a great deal about a society. It aects the pres-ent and can direct or misdirect the future. As the author says, “The prac-tice of history is also consistently on the move, as contemporary issues suggest new interpretations of the past or new problems to examine, and as development in neighboring disciplines suggest new intellectual and scholarly problems and routes into the study of the past.” The Dilenschneider family is very proud to support this remarkable historical project, the second in the “Critical Problems in History” series published by the University of Notre Dame Press. It is preceded in this series by Doris L. Bergen’sthe Lord: Military Chaplains fromThe Sword of the First to the Twenty-First Century.These works are truly a credit to Notre Dame and the scholars who produced them.
— Robert L. Dilenschneider
Individual Lives and Their Inner World
Individual Lives and Their Public World
Introduction: The Practice of History
Colleges, Cohorts, and Dynasties
Family Histories
List of Illustrations
List of Sources
Figurea – c.The covenant signed by W. W. Loch ( Balliol,‒ ) when he entered the ICS in. Courtesy of the Rev. Hamish Fullerton, great-great-nephew of Willie Walker Loch.
Figure.British domestic interior, UP, India,‒. From the Sladen photograph albums, Balliol College archives.
Figure.Wife and children of J. H. Cox, Deputy Commissioner of Hardoi and senior ICS colleague of F. Sladen ( Balliol, ‒ their bungalow). They are shown in front of with their retinue of servants, c.. From the Sladen photograph albums, Balliol College archives.
Figure.The Nehru family,the. Courtesy of Nehru Memorial Library, New Delhi.
Figure.Professor Tapan Raychaudhuri,Grandparents of formerly Reader in Indian History, University of Oxford, c.Professor Tapan Raychaudhuri.. Courtesy of
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