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Servants’ Pasts: Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century, South Asia, Vol. 1
Nitin Sinha, Nitin Varma, Pankaj Jha
Price
995.00
ISBN
9789352876648
Language
English
Pages
440
Binding
Hardback
Book Size
140 x 216 mm
Year
2019
Territorial Rights
World
Imprints
Orient Blackswan

Domestic servants have always been, and continue to be, ubiquitous in the households of middle and upper income rural and urban South Asia. They are also strikingly visible in art forms: paintings, sculptures, photographs, cinema, plays, stories, etc. Yet, they remain absent from scholarly research with very few recent exceptions.

Domestic service was an important category of labour and social relationships in early modern and colonial India but the domestic servant has largely remained absent from historians’ accounts of South Asia. Servants’ Pasts, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century South Asia, Vol. 1, much like Vol. 2, covers a range of polities; it specifically explores the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, and provides untold accounts of the ideals and practices of master/mistress-servant relationships during that period.

Young and seasoned scholars from diverse backgrounds use various sources—stories, letters, ledges, visuals, biographies, chronicles, newspaper reports and legal injunctions—to unravel the complex relationships around service and servitude. Contract, loyalty, patronage, ethical concerns and not least, coercion—both affectionate and violent—mark the nature of this relationship.

Nitin Sinha is Senior Research Fellow, Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, and Principal Investigator of the European Research Council-funded project, ‘Domestic Servants in Colonial India’.

Nitin Varma is Fellow, Re: Work, IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History, Berlin.

Pankaj Jha is Associate Professor, Lady Shri Ram College for Women.

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