Iterations of Law: Legal Histories from India

ISBN : 9780199477791

Aparna Balachandran; Rashmi Pant; Bhavani Raman
292 ページ
138 x 216 mm

This volume reflects a recent transformation of the concerns of social scientists regarding the legal history of South Asia. While, earlier, historians looked at the results rather than the performance of law, the concerns later shifted to unravelling the socioeconomic and political contexts that shaped law-making and its practice. Iterations of Law advances these new perspectives on legal history from South Asia. Going beyond an area studies rubric to critically engage with recent work in colonial and transnational legal history, the essays in this volume utilize both archival and everyday records to interrogate the relationship between the discipline of history and the institution of law. The contributors to this volume include both young and established scholars who address the enacted and performative aspects of law that illuminate how rights are inscribed into a hierarchical order, a process that is often elided and fragmented by jurisdictional contexts. Their essays focus on complex moments in the life of the law when rights or claims simultaneously inaugurate a new economy of power and authority. Through these chapters, it becomes possible to interrogate the framing of legal regimes 'from below' and treat the law as a process that entails constant exchange, conflict, and adjustment between the rulers and the governed.


Introduction Iterations of Law: Legal History from India - Aparna Balachandran, Rashmi Pant, and Bhavani Raman
1 The Life of Law in Modern India: A Present History of the Matha Court - Janaki Nair
2 Speaking in Multiple Registers: Property and the Narrative of Care - Rashmi Pant
3 Violence and the Languages of Law - Neeladri Bhattacharya
4 Law in Times of Counterinsurgency - Bhavani Raman
5 Petition Town: Law, Custom, and Urban Space in Early Colonial South India - Aparna Balachandran
6 'To Mount or Not to Mount?' Court Records and Law-Making in Early Modern Rajasthan - Nandita Sahai
7 Power, Petitions, and the 'Povo' in Early English Bombay- Philip Stern
8 Of Truth and Taxes: A Material History of Early Stamp't Paper- Shrimoyee Ghosh
9 Public Finance and Personal Law in Late-Colonial India- Eleanor Newbigin
Notes on Editors and Contributors


Aparna Balachandran teaches at the Department of History, University of Delhi, India. She has contributed to journals on religious identity and history of communities as well as on colonial law.; Rashmi Pant is Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, and teaches at the Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, India. She has contributed articles to journals on the history of caste formation in colonial India.; Bhavani Raman teaches at the Department of History, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of Document Raj: Writing and Scribes in Early Colonial South India (2012).