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Research at St Andrews

Narrating South Asian Partition: Oral History, Literature, Cinema

Research output: Book/ReportBook


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In this book, I bring together “private” and “public” forms of memory narratives of the 1947 Indian/Pakistani partition, by looking at oral history testimonies (covering direct and inherited memories) on the one hand, and cultural production of partition (in the form of literature, cinema and visual art) on the other. Through my analysis of these memory-narratives across a number of different genres, I examine how agency is articulated and contested in the ways in which these texts (both oral history and cultural) and the memories they are based on are narrated. I look at a number of different themes that appear across my texts – home, family, violence, childhood, trains and rivers, and show how these narratives need to be seen as evidence of agency on behalf of the narrator. This agency through narration is sometimes explicit, more often implicit, but always contested and politicised. A careful examination of the ways in which agency is manifested in these texts will, I argue, shed new light on the ways in which the events of partition are remembered, narrativised and metaphorised in public and private forums today.


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York and London
PublisherOxford UP
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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