30 July, 2012

Centres Out There?: Facets of Subregional Identities in Orissa

Centres Out There?: Facets of Subregional Identities in Orissa

By- Hermann Kulke and Georg Berkemer (eds.)

In the 1970s, the first Orissa Research Project (ORP), financed by the German Research Council and conducted by the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University, revealed vital elements of Oriya identity and culture by its extensive research on the cult of Jagannath and the temple city of Puri. In 1999, the second ORP, ‘Various Identities: Socio-Cultural Profiles of Orissa in Historical and Regional Perspectives’ was sanctioned until 2005.

Whereas the former project focused on the dominant discourses of coastal Orissa, the second project was periphery oriented in a double sense. Geographically it extended its studies to the hinterland of coastal Orissa, and sociologically it gave a stronger emphasis on its peripheral or subaltern folk and tribal groups. With its complementary studies, the second ORP attempts to give a comprehensive view of the polymorphic and polycentric pattern of the great regional tradition of Orissa. They reveal the inherent vitality and dynamics of India’s regional traditions by paradigmatic studies on the genesis, historical development, competition and integration of various local and subregional traditions of Orissa.

Major themes of the present volume are narrative and ritual traditions of the former Feudatory States and their emergence as Centres Out There as well as studies on various ‘Facets of Subregional Identities’ and their impact on the urban culture of coastal Orissa. They shed light on issues which are generally not in the centre of academic research, like the central agency of women in folk performances and the social formation of tribal societies.

Hermann Kulke is retired Professor of South and Southeast Asian History at Kiel University.
Georg Berkemer is Senior Lecturer of South Asian History and Languages at Humboldt University, Berlin.

ISBN  978-81-7304-906-4    2011   436p.   Rs.1350/ pounds 85
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