By Andrew Sartori
Sartori weaves the narrative of Bengal’s embody of culturalism right into a around the world heritage of the idea that, from its origins in eighteenth-century Germany, via its adoption in England within the early 1800s, to its visual appeal in special neighborhood guises around the non-Western international. The impetus for the concept’s dissemination used to be capitalism, Sartori argues, as its unfold around the globe initiated the necessity to have fun the neighborhood and the communal. accordingly, Sartori concludes, using the tradition proposal in non-Western websites was once pushed no longer by way of slavish imitation of colonizing powers, yet through a similar difficulties that again and again the development of contemporary capitalism. This impressive interdisciplinary research could be of vital curiosity to historians and anthropologists, in addition to students of South Asia and colonialism.
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At the present time humans all around the globe invoke the concept that of tradition to make feel in their international, their social interactions, and themselves. yet how did the tradition inspiration turn into so ubiquitous? during this bold research, Andrew Sartori heavily examines the historical past of political and highbrow existence in 19th- and twentieth-century Bengal to teach how the idea that can tackle a lifetime of its personal in numerous contexts.
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Extra resources for Bengal in Global Concept History: Culturalism in the Age of Capital
Culture was thus conceptually extracted from and opposed to the material life of the people as a perduringly distinct dimension of human existence. The proliferation of concepts of culture in twentieth-century Bengal is ultimately understood as the result of its displacement and involution in the wake of the self-diagnosed failure of Swadeshi, and not of the triumph of culturalist ideology. In the post-Swadeshi period, then, the discourse of culture was increasingly assimilated to a language of distinction and prestige that expressed the social isolation and collective interests of the (mostly high-caste Hindu) bhadralok.
It thereby located the constitutive essence of the nation within the dynamic and concrete temporality of the nation’s history. History thereby became the determinate negation of the homogeneous empty time that the (allegedly) Western subject of civil society inhabited. The ultimate collapse of the Swadeshi movement, as experienced through the refractive lens of Swadeshi ideology, deeply impacted the subsequent career of the culture concept in Bengal. Swadeshi’s collapse was widely interpreted as the result of a profound moral failure on the part of the Bengali people to live up to the cultural principles that Swadeshi discourse had identiﬁed as the core rationality of indigenous tradition.
From this vantage, I then chart the gradual drift of this ideological formation into crisis and contradiction in the second half of the nineteenth century, as eastern India’s socioeconomic formation underwent a structural bifurcation whereby a Calcutta-centered sphere of circulation was increasingly reiﬁed as inherently and essentially “white,” and the sphere of production in the hinterlands increasingly epitomized the authentic characteristics of “native” society. By the 1870s, the promise of liberal ideals of free exchange in civil society could only be salvaged through a counterintuitive appeal to an agenda of protectionism and state-sponsored development.
Bengal in Global Concept History: Culturalism in the Age of Capital by Andrew Sartori