Hi,

I'm designing an upper-level course on the Cultures of South Asia, and am curious as to which ethnographies have been especially useful to you (as either a teacher or student). Some of the "topics" I'll be exploring include nationalism, caste, gender, and religious identity, tho I am still thinking things through.

Some of the works I'm considering include:

Adams, Virtual Sherpas
Saldanha, Psychedlic White
Verkaaik, Migrants and Militants
Srinivas, Landscapes of Urban Memory
Roy, Trouble With Cows
Aggarwal, Lines of Control
Perry, Death in Banaras
Spencer, Sinhala Village in Time of Trouble
Van Der Veer, Religious Nationalism

Any thoughts about any of these? Any suggestions?

Many thanks!

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Replies to This Discussion

I also really like Johnny Parry's Death in Benaras and Peter Van Der Veer's Religious Nationalism.

For a synthetic account (rather than an ethnographic monograph) of the anthropology of Hinduism, Chris Fuller's The Camphor Flame is excellent.

I have recently really enjoyed Jana Fortier's Kings of The Forest: The Cultural Resilience of Himalayan Hunter-Gatherers (I reviewed it for the SOAS Bulletin)- highly readable and engaging.

David Gellner's Monk, Householder and Tantric Priest: Newar Buddhism and Its Hierarchy of Ritual is very interesting. Also from Nepal, I recommend Arjun Guneratne's Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal, William Fisher's Fluid Boundaries: Forming and Transforming Identity in Nepal, and Lyn Bennett's Dangerous Wives and Sacred Sisters: Social and Symbolic Roles of High-Caste Women in Nepal.

Finally, I also recommend Gloria Raheja's The Poison in the Gift: Ritual, Prestation and the Dominant Caste in a North Indian Village
Thats so helpful, Piers; thank you.

Is there anything that comes to mind for anybody for Pakistan? I like, but don't love, Migrants and Militants.

Thanks again
laura

Piers Locke said:
I also really like Johnny Parry's Death in Benaras and Peter Van Der Veer's Religious Nationalism.

For a synthetic account (rather than an ethnographic monograph) of the anthropology of Hinduism, Chris Fuller's The Camphor Flame is excellent.

I have recently really enjoyed Jana Fortier's Kings of The Forest: The Cultural Resilience of Himalayan Hunter-Gatherers (I reviewed it for the SOAS Bulletin)- highly readable and engaging.

David Gellner's Monk, Householder and Tantric Priest: Newar Buddhism and Its Hierarchy of Ritual is very interesting. Also from Nepal, I recommend Arjun Guneratne's Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal, William Fisher's Fluid Boundaries: Forming and Transforming Identity in Nepal, and Lyn Bennett's Dangerous Wives and Sacred Sisters: Social and Symbolic Roles of High-Caste Women in Nepal.

Finally, I also recommend Gloria Raheja's The Poison in the Gift: Ritual, Prestation and the Dominant Caste in a North Indian Village
I would suggest a few additions to Piers' amazing list;

Sumathi Ramaswamy's Passions of the Tongue

Laura Ahearn's Invitations to Love (language, social change, and the connections of education, language, and marriage practices to Nepali nationalism)

I have heard good things about two books based in Pakistan although I have yet to read either:

Benedicte Grima's The Performance of Emotion among Paxtun Women

Shahram Khosravi's 'Illegal' Traveller

Hi, I am new in this group. I am doing a research about the Santals in Bangladesh and their relationship with NGOs. One of the books I found very useful is:

Bleie, Tone (2005) Tribal Peoples, Nationalism and the Human Rights Challenge. Dhaka, The University Press Limited.

Here few things on Pakistan;

The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan: The Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir ethnic movements

Farhan Hanif Siddiqi. by Routledge (Although not ethnography but good one).

Religion and Politics in Muslim society: order and conflict in Pakistan.

Akbar S. Ahmed

Zenana: Everyday Peace in a Karachi Apartment Building by Laura A. Ring (Although I didn't went through this yet, but it looks good).

Political leadership among swat pathan ...by federick barth

 

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