Springer recently published the new book „A Transnational Feminist View of Surrogacy Biomarkets in India“ by Sheela Saravanan (Department of Anthropology). Further information is available here.
This book takes a reproductive justice approach to argue that surrogacy as practised in the contemporary neoliberal biomarkets crosses the humanitarian thresholds of feminism. Drawing on her ethnographic work with surrogate mothers, intended parents and medical practitioners in India, the author shows the dark connections between poverty, gender, human rights violations and indignity in the surrogacy market. In a developing country like India, bio-technologies therefore create reproductive objects of certain female bodies while promoting an image of reproductive liberation for others. India is a classic example for how far these biomarkets can exploit vulnerabilities for individual requirements in the garb of reproductive liberty. This critical book refers to a range of liberal, radical and postcolonial feminist frameworks on surrogacy, and questions the individual reproductive rights perspective as an approach to examine global surrogacy. It introduces ‘humanitarian feminism’ as an alternative concept to bridge feminist factions divided on contextual and ideological grounds. It hopes to build a global feminist solidarity drawing on a ‘reproductive justice’ approach by recognizing the histories of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age and immigration oppression in all communities. This work is of interest to researchers and students of medical sociology and anthropology, gender studies, bioethics, and development studies.
C.H. Beck recently published the book "Geschichte Indiens - Von der Induskultur bis heute" by Prof. Hermann Kulke (Professor Emeritus of Asian History and former member of the Department of History at the SAI) and Prof. Dietmar Rothermund (Emeritus Professor of the Department of History at the SAI).
Der indische Subkontinent blickt auf eine lange, faszinierende Geschichte zurück, von der rätselhaften Indus-Kultur über die Geburt von Hinduismus und Buddhismus sowie verschiedene Großreiche bis zur britischen Kolonialherrschaft und zur größten Demokratie der Welt. Hermann Kulke und Dietmar Rothermund bieten mit ihrem Buch einen Schlüssel zum Verständnis des riesigen Landes, in dem uralte Traditionen, krasse soziale Gegensätze und hochmoderne Technik und Wirtschaft nebeneinander existieren. Das erfolgreiche Standardwerk wurde für diese Ausgabe überarbeitet und aktualisiert.
Further information is available here.
Cambridge University Press recently published "The Mortal God - Imagining the Sovereign in Colonial India" by Milinda Banerjee. The publication presents his dissertation written under the supervision of Prof. Gita Dharampal-Frick (Head of the Department of History at SAI). Milinda Banerjee teaches at the Department of History, Presidency University, Kolkata and is Research Fellow at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.
Permanent link to this publication (bookmarkable):
Further information is available here.
The Mortal God is a study in intellectual history which uncovers how actors in colonial India imagined various figures of human, divine, and messianic rulers to battle over the nature and locus of sovereignty. It studies British and Indian political-intellectual elites as well as South Asian peasant activists, giving particular attention to Bengal, including the associated princely states of Cooch Behar and Tripura. Global intellectual history approaches are deployed to place India within wider trajectories of royal nationhood that unfolded across contemporaneous Europe and Asia. The book intervenes within theoretical debates about sovereignty and political theology, and offers novel arguments about decolonizing and subalternizing sovereignty.
After its integration into the series of life-cycle rituals (saṃskāra) in the first millennium BC, the Brahmanical initiation (upanayana) underwent continual revision and reinterpretation. Today it is performed during a ritual complex called vratabandha, in which it is conducted together with three other saṃskāras, the whole set being embedded in a preliminary and framing ritual. In his book Asketen auf Zeit: Das brahmanische Intitiationsritual der Bāhun und Chetrī im Kathmandu-Tal (URL), Christof Zotter employs a combination of textual studies and fieldwork to examine the principles by which a particular Vedic school (the White Yajurveda) and a concrete context (the vratabandha of Nepalese Bāhuns and Chetrīs) combines and adapts elements of different types of ritual (saṃskāra, pūjā, homa, etc.) in order to accommodate itself to changing times and circumstances.
The detailed formal analysis provides a key to interpreting the meaning of the whole complex of acts that constitute a vratabandha, in which the initiate temporarily becomes an ascetic in order to be initiated into his future householder role as a ritual practitioner.
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