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Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures

Authors: Mohan, A.

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About this book

Shifting the postcolonial focus away from the city and towards the village, this book examines the rural as a trope in twentieth-century South Asian literatures to propose a new literary history based on notions of utopia, dystopia, and heterotopia and how these ideas have circulated in the literary and the cultural imaginaries of the subcontinent.

About the authors

ANUPAMA MOHAN is assistant professor at the University of Nevada Reno, USA, where she teaches South Asian studies, critical and literary theory, and Anglophone postcolonial literatures. She has written widely on Indian and Sri Lankan literatures, critical theory, and modern postcolonial drama. 

Reviews

“Anupama Mohan has written a lively book with a focus on the utopian imaginative mode and the representation of the village in South Asian literatures … . Mohan’s book is thus a promising beginning: it is an entrée to a potentially highly fertile field, and whets one’s appetite for more work, for more academic conversations and collaborations between scholars working on utopia, dystopia, and heterotopia in South Asian literatures.” (Barnita Bagchi, Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 52 (4), 2015)

“Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures is an excellent exploration of the function of the utopic in the representation of the rural in the work of Indian and Sri Lankan writers. … Anupama Mohan’s Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures is a very important contribution not only to South Asian literary studies and utopia studies but to scholars of spatial modernity as well, particularly in the postcolonial context.” (Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay, South Asian Review, Vol. 36 (1), 2015)


“In a strikingly original way, this important literary study shows how the broader rural dynamics in India and Sri Lanka have moved away from the paradigms of utopian/dystopian and even national/marginal and moved instead towards an interstitial zone of contact, cohabitation and negotiation. In a refreshing rethinking of the utopian in and through Foucault's notion of the 'heterotopic', Anupama Mohan productively turns our focus away from the city to the village and from postcolonial 'othering' toward negotiating difference, or what she calls 'selving' - the constructing of a composite self based on an understanding of difference. This is the important new step the field has been waiting to take.” (Linda Hutcheon, University Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, University of Toronto, Canada)

“The book is spectacular in its conceptual grasp of the field, and it is possibly the only book in the last two decades to offer a radical and immensely valuable methodology for reading South Asian literature.” (Chelva Kanaganayakam, Professor, Department of English, University of Toronto)

“Anupama Mohan, in Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures, offers an innovative reading of the representations of rural village life in the literatures of South Asia... the book offers a refreshing perspective on contemporary debates about the transformative potential of envisaging postcolonial subjectivities in the plural... Utopia and the Village is a significant scholarly work since it competently traverses two neglected areas in the field of postcolonial literary criticism: utopian studies and rural studies. Mohan uses the trope of the rural to rethink utopia, dystopia and heterotopia outside the western modernist paradigm and, through an engaging analysis, recuperates the theoretical potential of these concepts for studying South Asian and other postcolonial literatures. Since Mohan's analysis of literary texts cuts across disciplinary boundaries, this book will be useful to anyone interested in the intersections as well as the divergences in the historical and literary developments of India and Sri Lanka during the twentieth century.” (Nida Sajid, Intersections)

“Mohan should be lauded for her close and careful study of Indian and Sri Lankan literatures; her attentiveness to the historical flashpoints of war, civil disobedience, religious and ethnonationalist movements that animate literary production in the subcontinent; and her nuanced tracing of the influence of literary theories of modernism on the indigenous literatures of South Asia.” (Anitha Ananthram, University of Florida)

“Leaving aside the valuable and informative notions contained in it, the relevance of this volume stems not simply from the fact that much economic, social and cultural life in South Asia takes place in rural villages, where most of the population still lives, but from the fact that, far from being anachronistic elements destined to be swept away from 'progress' and 'modernity', rural villages have played a multifaceted role in shaping our perception of political scenarios, economic progress and cultural development.” (Gerardo Serra, PhD student, Department of Economic History, London School of Economics, UK)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-03189-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $100.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-35498-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-34679-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures
Authors
Copyright
2012
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-03189-1
DOI
10.1057/9781137031891
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-35498-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-34679-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 234
Topics