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Claiming the city. Protest, crime and scandals in colonial Calcutta c. 1860-1920.

Author: Anindita Ghosh
Publisher: Corby : Oxford University Press 2016.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Departing from approaches that see the city as the unproblematic product of British initiative and disciplining, 'Claiming the city' presents the urban processes shaping Calcutta as contested and partially indigenous. In a crucial intervention the work studies how the colonial urban was not just born out of the ordered institutional spaces inscribed by public parks and squares, sewers and water supplies, roads and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Anindita Ghosh
ISBN: 9780199464791 0199464790
OCLC Number: 946010624
Description: 310 pages
Contents: List of FiguresList of TablesAcknowledgementsIntroductionChapter One: Urban Space, Technology, and CommunityChapter Two: Songs, the City, and the EverydayChapter Three: Sexuality, Scandals, and the Urban OrderChapter Four: Battle for the Streets: Contesting Municipal RegimesChapter Five: Criminality, Class, and Moral AnxietiesChapter Six: Collective Protest and RiotsConclusionBibliographyIndexAbout the Author
Responsibility: Anindita Ghosh.

Abstract:

Departing from approaches that see the city as the unproblematic product of British initiative and disciplining, 'Claiming the city' presents the urban processes shaping Calcutta as contested and partially indigenous. In a crucial intervention the work studies how the colonial urban was not just born out of the ordered institutional spaces inscribed by public parks and squares, sewers and water supplies, roads and tramways, but also the more plebeian imprint of their circumvention by the citys inhabitants - through their use of this civic infrastructure, violence, protest and street demonstrations. In the process the book also traces the ways in which the once proverbial City of Palaces turned by the early twentieth century into a city of endemic unrest and political strife. Ghosh breaks new ground by exploring the history of colonial urbanization from below through a wide range of sources, from street songs and photographs to local histories and memoirs, in addition to the more well-known official archives. 0In bringing together for the first time both known and unknown histories of the city in imaginative ways, the book weaves a vibrant narrative of everyday life in colonial Calcutta. Scandal, rumour, murder and music help locate energetic lower layers of public sphere in the city that were deeply invested in the urban. By highlighting the tensions of living in a rapidly changing world of technological innovations, social and moral dilemmas, municipal strictures and grinding poverty, the book establishes Calcuttas residents not as passive consumers but rightful claimants to the city.

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