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Crossing Boundaries of British India: New Perspectives on Connected Histories of Princely States

Moving beyond the colonial discourse on British and Princely India, this panel deconstructs the discursive production of boundaries in colonial India by exploring connected histories of the princely states.

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Convenor:

· Razak Khan The Erlangen Centre for Islam and Law in Europe (EZIRE) Friedrich–Alexander University Erlangen–Nürnberg (Berlin, Germany)

Long Abstract

Moving beyond the colonial discourse on British and Princely India, this panel deconstructs the discursive production of boundaries in colonial India by exploring connected histories of the princely states. It does so by looking at new themes emerging from studies on princely states that compel us to rethink existing historiography not just on princely but also on colonial India. Recent scholarship in the field have examined new themes ranging from political histories and debates around constitutionalism and federalism in colonial and postcolonial India to economic histories and models of development originating in princely states. Furthermore, this panel explores various projects of princely modernity in the realm of urbanity, education, science, establishing and preserving archives, architecture, music, dance, and paintings. Our intention is not only to include histories of different princely states separately but to also bring together these divided accounts into connected histories that reveal their profound impact on developments in colonial and postcolonial India. These include histories of social and religious reform and histories of communalism, nationalism and public cultures. We therefore hope to break discursive and disciplinary boundaries in the study of princely states in South Asia. The panel is open to submission from Urban and Visual studies, Ethnomusicology, History of Science, Medicine and Technology, Legal history, International relations and other inter- or multidisciplinary approaches.

Presentations