Transversal Histories and transcultural afterlives: Indianized renditions of Jean Bodin in global intellectual history

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

Do concepts and arguments move like objects? Are there special furrows traced for them by social processes, which they are conditioned to follow? Can actors transform concepts and arguments, or are their decisions overdetermined by transformations which exceed individual agency? Do concepts breathe the air of specific cultural locales? What happens when texts and arguments are moved out of their historical contexts and revivified by other voices in other climes and times? Can we speak then about the transcultural afterlives of concepts? These are only some of the questions which recent debates in the discipline of global intellectual history have brought to the fore, and which this chapter seeks to negotiate, by bringing European-origin debates into dialogue with intellectual approaches originating from South Asia. The chapter further offers an empirical sketch of how such a dialogue can be carried out by focusing on the ways in which certain twentieth-century Indian actors read the sixteenth-century French political philosopher Jean Bodin. I also show how these readings were transregionally entangled with French, American, and British intellectual and political formations. I argue that Bodin thus became a signifier of sovereignty, even as sovereignty itself became a metonym for a protean array of practices of power and violence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging Transculturality
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, Key Terms, Case Studies
EditorsLaila Abu-Er-Rub, Christiane Brosius, Sebastian Meurer, Diamantis Panagiotopoulos, Susan Richter
Place of PublicationAbingdon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Chapter11
Pages155-169
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780429430060
ISBN (Print)9781138226647
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameEngaging with...
PublisherRoutledge

Keywords

  • Indian political thought
  • Global history
  • Sovereignty
  • Transcultural studies
  • Intellectual history

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