Bearing Literary Witness

Violence founds and preserves the state. Monopoly over the legal use of violence is, Max Weber reminds us, indispensable to all modern states. The postcolonial Indian state became the principal vehicle of political development and agent of nation building, though by the mid 70s, and by other accounts even earlier, this nation-building euphoria began to disintegrate. Sankaran …

Rani Gaidinlui

Rani Gaidinliu and many like her remain absent from our books, our memory, our politics, our public spaces and our discourses Rani Gaidinliu does not appear in Indian history textbooks. In the pantheon of Indian freedom fighters, revolutionaries and liberators her name remains unfamiliar. She is unknown to most Indians, a fading memory and myth …

Lives in Transition : Haiti

“The disaster ruins everything, all the while leaving everything intact. …Remembrance of the disaster which could be the gentlest want of foresight.” – Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of Disaster It had been a few weeks since the earthquake. The dusty port town of Léogâne was the epicenter. Nearly every concrete structure in the town was …

Stuart Hall: Metaphors of Transformation

To discover Hall is to discover the immense possibility of being different. I first encountered Stuart Hall: on the radio. After a crisp introduction from the BBC presenter, Stuart Hall’s velvet voice and articulated conviction filled the room. For 45 minutes I listened captivated as Hall recounted his childhood in Jamaica and his time as …

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