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Rescuing history from the nation : questioning narratives of modern China

Author: Prasenjit Duara
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1996, ©1995.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : Pbk. edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Prasenjit Duara offers the first systematic account of the relationships among the nation-state, nationalism, and the concept of linear history. Focusing primarily on China and including discussion of India, Duara argues that many historians of postcolonial nation-states have adopted linear, evolutionary history of the Enlightenment/colonial model. As a result, they have written repressive, exclusionary, and
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Duara, Prasenjit.
Rescuing history from the nation.
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1996, ©1995
(OCoLC)38469268
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Prasenjit Duara
ISBN: 9780226167237 0226167232
OCLC Number: 527658005
Description: 1 online resource (x, 275 pages)
Contents: 1. Linear History and the Nation-state --
2. Bifurcating Linear Histories in China and India --
3. The Campaigns against Religion and the Return of the Repressed --
4. Secret Brotherhood and Revolutionary Discourse in China's Republican Revolution --
5. The Genealogy of Fengjian or Feudalism: Narratives of Civil Society and State --
6. Provincial Narratives of the Nation: Federalism and Centralism in Modern China --
7. Critics of Modernity in India and China.
Responsibility: Prasenjit Duara.

Abstract:

Prasenjit Duara offers the first systematic account of the relationships among the nation-state, nationalism, and the concept of linear history. Focusing primarily on China and including discussion of India, Duara argues that many historians of postcolonial nation-states have adopted linear, evolutionary history of the Enlightenment/colonial model. As a result, they have written repressive, exclusionary, and incomplete accounts.

The backlash against such histories has resulted in a tendency to view the past as largely constructed, imagined, or invented. In this book, Duara offers a way out of the impasse between constructionism and the evolving nation; he redefines history as a series of multiple, often conflicting narratives produced simultaneously at national, local, and transnational levels. In a series of closely linked case studies, he considers such examples as the very different histories produced by Chinese nationalist reformers and partisans of popular religions, and the conflicting narratives of statist nationalists and of advocates of federalism in early twentieth-century China. He demonstrates the necessity of incorporating contestation, appropriation, repression, and the return of the repressed subject into any account of the past that will be meaningful to the present.

Duara demonstrates how to write histories that resist being pressed into the service of the national subject in its progress - or stalled progress - toward modernity.

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