Publications pre 2000
The Making of the Indian Atomic Bomb: Science, Secrecy and the Postcolonial State, Postcolonial Encounters Series. (London: Zed Books/New Delhi: Orient Longman. 1998) In 1974 India exploded an atomic device. In May 1998 the new BJP Government exploded several more, encountering in the process domestic plaudits but international condemnation and a nuclear arms race in South Asia. This book is the first serious historical account of the development of nuclear power in India and of how the bomb came to be made. The author questions orthodox interpretations implying that it was a product of the Indo-Pakistani conflict. Instead, he suggests that the explosions had nothing to do with national security as conventionally understood. Instead he demonstrates the linkages that existed between the two apparently separate discourses of national security and national development, and explores their common underlying basis in postcolonial states. The result is a remarkable book that breaks new ground in integrating comparative politics, international relations and cultural studies.
Yundong: Mass Campaigns in Chinese Communist Leadership (China Research Monographs, University of California, Berkeley, 1976) One of the most frequently encountered metaphors in the writings of Mao Zedong who likens the course of revolution to the movement of waves. The most important manifestation of this idea in contemporary Chinese political life is the yundong, or mobilization campaign. Despite its importance, however, neither the Chinese themselves nor outside observers of China have devotes sustained attention to the idea of the campaign or to the history of its implementation in post-Liberation China. Bennett combines knowledge of the documentary sources on contemporary Chinese politics with interviews of former residents of the People's Republic.
Huadong: The Story of a Chinese People's Commune (Westview Press, 1978) This report on one commune in China's innovative commune system is designed to present key features of the system as a whole. The range of source materials included official Chinese documents, criticisms of a prominent regional leader published during the Cultural Revolution, official statements to foreign visitors at Huadong, observations about the commune by foreign visitors and journalists, and recollections by local emigrés. Bennett emphasizes the personal views of commune residents, and calls attention to important changes during the 1970s.
(Co-Author with Ronald Montaperto) Red Guard: The Political Biography of Dai Hsiao-Ai (Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1971) Dai Hsaio-ai turned seventeen in May, 1966 just as China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution began. For the next year and a half, his role as a leader of Red Guard activities in his school changed his life. Red Guard is Dai's own story, analyzing a highly political and deeply committed young man's perception of and response to a penetrating socio-political movement. Eighteen months of intense struggle prompted Dai to re-examine his role in Chinese society. Ultimately, he smuggled himself into Hong Kong. There he met Bennett and Montaperto, who were then two American students of contemporary China. As their friendship with Dai developed, Bennett and Montaperto realized the uniqueness of Dai's experiences. Accordingly, they encouraged him to record his story and assisted him in research to verify his recollections. In this book, Bennet and Montaperto have also provided a narrative perspective for Dai's memories and an illuminating critical commentary.
The Rigvedic Adityas. American Oriental Society (Vol. 63. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1981)
Development: The Struggle for Community in a Sri Lankan Village (University of
Arizona Press, 1996)
Senior Editor, Agrarian Change in Sri Lanka (New Delhi, Sage Publications, 1992) Recent transformations in Sri Lanka's agrarian structures have been both complex and uneven. While the overall direction of change has been towards a more capitalist form of organization, the process of transformation has been heterogeneous, contradictory, and, furthermore, varied widely from region to region. This volume explores both the range and the complexity of these processes by bringing together a set of ethnographic studies conducted in six of Sri Lanka's nine provinces. All thirteen essays trace the changes that have occurred in the four decades since independence. Contributors combine enthnographic with historical research and place their respective analysis of agrarian change within local cultural contexts. They treat agrarian change as a dynamic social process and convey a sense of how that change is experienced by the villagers. A number of common themes run through the collection, including the interplay between local initiatives and state policies; the complex ways in which capitalist schemes of production interact with existing agrarian institutions; and the refashioning of local identities as village life is incorporated into ever-widening circuits of economic, political, and cultural relations. With its new research data and unique theoretical perspectives, this volume will be of interest to sociologists, anthropologists, development economists, social and economic historians, agricultural economists, and those studying rural development and agrarian change in South Asia.
Villages of Anuradhapura: The Historical Anthropology of a Community in Sri
Lanka (University of
Washington Press. Publications on Asia of the School of International Studies,
The Shuswap of Canada (New Haven, Human Relations Area Files, 1972) (Ethnocentrism Series, HRAFlex)
Phanishwarnath, The Third Vow and Other Stories, translations of nine short stories with
introduction and glossary. (New Delhi: Rupa Publications. First edition, Delhi:
Chanakya Publications, 1986) Phanishwar Nath Renu was born on May 4, 1921 in a remote village in the district of Purnea in the state of Bihar. He gave up his academic career in 1942 when he joined the revolutionary political struggle for independence led by Jayaprakash Narayan. He continued to be a revolutionary socialist and activist even after the coming of independence. But the stresses of political activism coupled with the strain of private life affected his health adversely. In 1952, it completely broke down. It was then that he turned to the writing of fiction seriously and regularly. In 1954, his first novel, Maila Anchal, came out. He published two more novels after that, Parti Parikatha and Deerghatapa, but his first novel remains his best. It has established itself as the novel that heralded the new form of fiction, namely, "anchalik" novel. Apart from novels, he wrote numerous short stories which are characterized by the same realism, raciness, wit and humor, which distinguish his novels.
Grounds for Play: The Nautanki Theatre of North India (University of California Press, 1992. Co-published by Manohar Publications, Delhi, 1993) Winner of the A.K. Coomaraswamy Book Prize of the Association for Asian Studies
The nautanki performances of northern India entertain their audiences with often ribald and profane stories. Rooted in the peasant society of pre-modern India, this theater vibrates with lively dancing, pulsating drumbeats, and full-throated singing. In "Grounds for Play," Kathryn Hansen draws on field research to describe the different elements of nautanki performance: music, dance, poetry, popular story lines, and written texts. She traces the social history of the form and explores the play of meanings within nautanki narratives, focusing on the ways important social issues such as political authority, community identity, and gender differences are represented in these narratives. Unlike other styles of Indian theater, the nautanki does not draw on the pan-Indian religious epics such as the "Ramayana" or the "Mahabharata" for its subjects. Indeed, their storylines tend to center on the vicissitudes of stranded heroines in the throes of melodramatic romance. Whereas nautanki performers were once much in demand, live performances now are rare and nautanki increasingly reaches its audiences through electronic media--records, cassettes, films, television. In spite of this change, the theater form still functions as an effective conduit in the cultural flow that connects urban centers and the hinterland in an ongoing process of exchange.
The Nadars of Tamilnad: The Political Culture of a Community in Change (The University of California Press, 1969) The Nadars have had a turbulent and colourful history. Their efforts to rise above their depressed condition assumed dramatic form in the series of escalating confrontations between the caste and its antagonists. From the breast-cloth controversy the sack of Sivakasi to the Nadar Mahajana Sangam, the Nadars' rise, encapsulating the processes of social mobility in Indian sopciety, has given rich texture to the analysis of a community in change.
India Under Pressure: Prospects for Political Stability (Westview Press, 1984) From preface: "American interests in South Asia, in the broadest sense, are political, humanitarian, economic, and strategic. The pluralism of Indian society with its multiplicity of competing interests, is a major force for holding politics and public policy on the middle ground. The Congress embraces this pluralism within itself, and any alliance of opposition parties necessary to form a coalition Government would, in balancing its divergent tendencies, blunt more radical change."
Word as Mantra: The Art of Raja Rao (Katha, 1998) For more than thirty years, Raja Rao honored the University of Texas at Austin as a member of its faculty and in retirement, by his continued involvement in the intellectual life of the community. The University, in recognition of his contributions, honored Raja Rao at a one-day symposium: "Word as Mantra: The Art of Raja Rao," on March 24, 1997.
The Dravidian Movement (Bombay, Popular Prakashan, 1965) In a multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-religious country like India, the tendency of the varied traditional loyalties pulling in different directions to assert their separate identity has been a recurring bane to the national unity. Arising out of the deep-seated antagonism against the Aryan culture embodied in the caste system with the Brahmin in a privileged position, the Dravidian movement in the Tamilnad has been a powerful and disturbing factor in the political life of India. Since its inception in the early decades of the 20th century this movement has changed its character and methods with the changing leadership and so also its aims - from a demand for an independent state of Dravidistan to the pragmatic political demands of a political party. This book provides a succinct historical survey of the Dravidian movement. Hardgrave traces the forces that led to this movement, and gives an account of the rise and decline of the Justice Party; the formation of Dravida Kazagham, under the leadership of Naicker; split in the party and establishment of another effective political party, the Dravidian Munnetra Kazagham, under the inspiration of C.N. Annadurai. The author also describes the part played by these parties in the elections in free India and the pivotal role played by Kamaraj Nadar in Tamilnad politics.
Essays in the Political Sociology of South India (Usha Publications, 1979) From insert: "These articles study the Tamil nationalist movement from its beginnings, the language riots in Tamil Nadu, the unique role of the cinema in Tamil politics, the communist movement in Kerala, and the rise of a social and political consciousness among the Nadars."
(Co-Author) Musical Instruments of North India: Eighteenth Century Portraits by Baltazard Solvyns (Manohar, 1997) The Flemish artist Baltazard Solvyns, residing in Calcutta from 1791 until 1804, produced a remarkable set of etchings depicting the people and culture he observed. First published in Calcutta in 1796 and 1799, and then in a four volume edition, Les Hindous, published in Paris, 1808-12, the etchings include portrayals of 36 musical instruments as well as prints of the nautch and a Hindu "dancing girl." These etchings represent, in most instances, the first illustrations of the instruments and the manner in which they are played.
Co-Editor, The Statecraft of British Imperialism: Essays in Honour of Wm. Roger Louis (London, Frank Cass Publishers, 1999) These essays reassess the meaning of British imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They are written by leading authorities in the field and range in scope from the aftermath of the American revolution to the liquidation of the British empire, from the Caribean to the Pacific, from Suez to Hong Kong.
Nehru and the Language Politics of India (Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1997) Language is no longer perceived as a threat to the national unity of India. But the language controversies that accompanied the first years of Indian independence had pushed the country to the brink of instability. That language problems are not longer seen as force of national disequiibrium is die in large part, according to this book, to the role played by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. It has been widely supposed that Nehru let his country down during its time of great linguistic strife by a lack of aggressive leadership. King argues that, on the contrary, Nehru's intuitive understanding and handling of the complex language issue laid a solid foundation for Indian unity by robbing the language crisis of its potential for causing disorder. This book provides a detailed picture of the historical context in which Nehru had to act and contains an account of the two major language issues facing Nehru as leader of the independent India: the linguistic-states movement and the national language.
Historical Linguistics and Generative Grammar (New York, Prentice-Hall, 1969)
Co-Author, Romance of the Taj Mahal (Thames & Hudson, 1989) The was built by the Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for after her death in 1631. It was later to be his own tomb as well. It is without doubt the high point of Mogul artistic achievement and one of the most perfect buildings in the world.
was a man of complex emotions and intense aesthetic sensibility, passionately concerned with displays of power and status. His wealth was almost without parallel, his range of interests apparently limitless - from flowers to weaponry, from art-collecting to romantic love - and his standards uncompromising. In this volume, the Taj Mahal is the starting point for an exploration of other aspects of Shah Jahan's court and a detailed examination of its architecture, painting, jewellery, objets d'art and textiles. The hundreds of splendid objects illustrated - 96 of them in superb color - have been chosen from outstanding museums and private collections worldwide.
The final chapter examines the 'myth' of the Moguls and of the Taj Mahal, which over the centuries has become a sort of icon of perfection, the Mona Lisa of architecture. Its silhouette is immediately recognizable everywhere. No amount of exposure, however, can dilute its impact or weaken its charm. A closer knowledge of its creator and of the history and background of its creation only adds to that charm and makes the legend real.
Co-Author, Pleasure Gardens of the Mind: Indian Paintings from the Jane Greenough Green Collection (Antique Collectors' Club, 1997)
Secluded Scholars: Women’s Education and Muslim Social Reform in Colonial India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999) This volume gives a detailed account of the individuals, organizations, and institutions that were influential in India in the promotion of education for Muslim girls in the colonial period.
The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India (New York: Columbia University Press and Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1982; pb, 1999) This book examines the cultural and educational movements that arose among the North Indian Muslim elites in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Co-Editor, Abul Kalam Azad: An Intellectual and Religious Biography, by the late Ian H. Douglas (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1988) Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958)--President of the Indian National Congress from 1939 to 1946, outspoken opponent of Jinnah and Partition, symbol of the Muslim will to coexist in a secular India, and scholar and intellectual--was one of modern India's most important leaders. This first substantial biography of Azad in English charts his many contributions to the intellectual, political, and religious heritage of modern India, revealing important continuities in his life and thought.
and Editor, Voices of Silence: Khwaja Altaf Husain Hali's Majalis un-Nissa (Assemblies of Women) and
Chup ki Dad (Homage to the Silent), (Delhi: Chanakya Publications, 1986)
Co-Editor, Separate Worlds: Studies of Purdah in South Asia (South Asia Books and Chanakya Publications, 1982)
Editor, The Extended Family: Women and Political Participation in India and Pakistan (Columbia, Missouri: South Asia Books and Delhi: Chanakya Publications, 1981)
Dharmasūtras: The Law Codes of Ancient India (annotated translation of the Dharmasūtras of Āpastamba, Gautama, Baudhāyana, and Vasiṣṭha). (Oxford World's Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1999) The Dharmasutras are the four surviving works of the ancient Indian expert tradition on the subject of dharma, or the rules of behaviour a community recognizes as binding on its members. Written in a pithy and aphoristic style and representing the culmination of a long tradition of scholarship, the Dharmasutras record intense disputes and divergent views on such subjects as the education of the young and their rites of passage, ritual procedures and religious ceremonies, marriage and marital rights and obligations, dietary restrictions, the right professions for and the proper interaction between different social groups, sins and their expiations, institutions for the pursuit of holiness, king and the administration of justice, crimes and punishments, death and ancestral rites. In short, these unique documents give us a glimpse of how people, especially Brahmin males, were ideally expected to live their lives within an ordered and hierarchically arranged society.
The Upaniṣads (annotated
translation of 12 early Upaniṣads).
(Oxford World's Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) In the first major English translation of the ancient Upanisads for over
half a century, Olivelle's work incorporates the most recent historical
and philological scholarship on these central scriptures of Hinduism.
Composed at a time of great social, economic, and religious change, the
Upanisads document the transition from the archaic ritualism of the Veda
into new religious ideas and institutions.Winner of the A. K. Ramanujan Book Prize for Translation, Association
for Asian Studies, 1998
Classical Indian Metaphysics: Refutations of Realism and the Emergence of "New Logic" (Chicago: Open Court, 1995. And in an Indian edition: Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1998) This book is an introduction to classical Indian metaphysics in general, with a special focus on New Logic and its responses to idealist dialectical attacks. It comprises coverage on the earliest periods of Indian thought, metaphysical arguments within late classical debates, and a final chapter providing translations of key passages from late texts.
Aurobindo's Philosophy of Brahman (Leiden: Brill, 1986)
(Co-Editor) Hartshorne: Process Philosophy and Theology (State University of New York Press, 1989) This book provides an introduction to Hartshorne's contributions to contemporary philosophy and theology. It also covers some of the current controversies in philosophy and theology that Hartshorne's contributions have generated. The opening is a lucid and penetrating introduction to Hartshorne's thought. Other chapters break new grounds on issues that have concerned Hartshorne throughout his career: the nature and methods of metaphysics, the existence and nature of God, and the place of religion and metaphysics in the modern world. Other chapters relate Hartshorne's work to other traditions and to trends in contemporary philosophy - to postmodernism, classical Western theism, Indian philosophy, analytical philosophy and American pragmatism.
In the Afternoon of Time: An Autobiography of Harivansh Rai Bachchan (Translated, Penguin Books, 1998) Hindi litterateur Harivansh Rai Bachchan was born in Allahabad in 1907, and acquired immense popularity in the 1930s through Madhushala, a long poem inspired by the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Some three decades later, by now well established as a major figure on the Hindi literari scene, Bachchan wrote the first of four volumes of his autobiography, which was to earn widespread praise from ciritcs and readers alike. In the Afternoon of Time is creative abridgement of these four volumes, translated into English for the first time.
Fictions of Feminist Ethnography (University of Minnesota Press, 1994)
The question of what the term "feminist ethnography" means remains open. Some texts that fall under this rubric rely on unexamined notions of "sisterhood" and the recovery of "lost" voices. Writing about her work with women in Southern India, Kamala Visweswaran addresses such troubled questions in the essays that make up Fictions of Feminist Ethnography. Blurring distinctions between ethnographic and literary genres, the author employs the narrative strategies of history, fiction, autobiography and biography, deconstruction, and postcolonial discourse to reveal the fictions of ethnography and the ethnography in fiction. In the process of reflecting on the nature of anthropology itself Visweswaran devises an experimental approach to writing feminist ethnography.