Meet the Blogger
Research Associate

Blog Posts by John McIntosh

Oct 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Partha Chatterjee led the opening session of the Brown-India Seminar on September 21, 2012, giving a paper titled “Soccer and Collective Identity in Colonial Calcutta.” The following has been condensed from a conversation at the Watson Institute that morning. It’s been 20 years since The Nation and Its Fragments was published, changing the way we understand nationalism in its different dimensions. In its preface, you write that it is in the nature of nationalism that any interrogation of a specific history can be brought to bear on another. So, first, I’d like to ask if we can apply the ideas you have elaborated about nationalism and its construction in your study of South Asia to questions of nation, society and identity here, in the country where you work and teach part of each year. Yes and no. There are some interesting and crucial differences between nationalism in the United States — which of course was also an anti-colonial nationalism — and nationalisms in the more recent period in ex-colonies in Asia and Africa. One of the crucial differences is that, because the American colonies were essentially white-settler colonies the formation of law, property, and administration in the colonial period was entirely based on European principles of the time. Native Americans were never a presence in the domain of law or administrative structures. Everywhere else in Asia and Africa the local forms of law, of property, and...
  • Recommend Us