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Philosophy | Cultures of Memory in South Asia - Orality, Literacy and the Problem of Inheritance

Cultures of Memory in South Asia

Orality, Literacy and the Problem of Inheritance

Rao, D. Venkat

2014, XVI, 336 p.

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  • First comprehensive work on cultural memory in South Asia
  • Affirms the need for critical humanities that would reorient teaching and research in South Asia
  • Advances epistemic comparisons and contrasts between Indian and Europe
Cultures of Memory in South Asia reconfigures European representations of India as a paradigmatic extension of a classical reading, which posits the relation between text and context in a determined way. It explores the South Asian cultural response to European “textual” inheritances. The main argument of this work is that the reflective and generative nodes of Indian cultural formations are located in the configurations of memory, the body and idiom (verbal and visual), where the body or the body complex becomes the performative effect and medium of articulated memories. This work advances its arguments by engaging with mnemocultures—cultures of memory—that survive and proliferate in speech and gesture. Drawing on Sanskrit and Telugu reflective sources, this work emphasizes the need to engage with cultural memory and the compositional modes of Indian reflective traditions. This important and original work focuses on the ruptured and stigmatized resources of heterogeneous Indian traditions and calls for critical humanities that move beyond the colonially configured received traditions. Cultures of Memory suggests the possibilities of transcultural critical humanities research and teaching initiatives from the Indian context in today’s academy.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Chitrassutra - Critical humanities - Cultural memory - Kavyamimansa - Materiality of memory, body and idiom - Mnemocultural symbolization - Mnemoculture - Mnemotexts - Musical thinking - Non-narrative configurations - Orality and literacy - Performative communications - Postcolonial cultural theory - Received humanities in South Asia - Sanskrit mnemocultural traditions - Sanskrit reflective traditions

Related subjects » Linguistics - Philosophy - Social Sciences

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