University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre of South Asian Studies Seminars > Public Space and the Demand for Recognition: Lawful and Unlawful Assembly and the ‘Conditions of Listening’ in Indian History

Public Space and the Demand for Recognition: Lawful and Unlawful Assembly and the ‘Conditions of Listening’ in Indian History

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This paper traces a history of public assembly in India by comparing successful stagings of the political in India, past and present, with failed interventions in the public sphere and failed efforts to shape the construction of public opinion. It asks why some peoples’ practices are easily recognized as political, while the same actions engaged in by others are neither recognized nor heard. Reframing our historical projects through an attention to what Richard Burghart has called “the conditions of listening,” it argues that we must be wary of the ways that sociological and analytic categories create claims to universal foundations and narratives that privilege the actions of some while making those of others appear invisible, relegating them to the status of “traditional,” or otherwise causing them to appear external to contemporary understandings of the political.

This talk is part of the Centre of South Asian Studies Seminars series.

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