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Bending closer to the ground: girmit as minor history

Mishra, Sudesh R. (2012) Bending closer to the ground: girmit as minor history. Australian Humanities Review, 52 . pp. 5-17. ISSN 1325-8338

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This essay begins with a set of questions. What happens to indenture history when those subject to its logic describe it from their own perspective by coining a new term? What are we to make of an insane Indian woman whom history notices, and admits into the archive, only because she breaches the mental and spatial regulations of those responsible for making history? Is it possible to grapple with a history where the breaking of wind by a prisoner at 8pm constitutes a punishable offence and is duly recorded? 18The ordinary apparatus of historiography 19, writes Ranajit Guha, 18is most at ease when made to operate on those larger phenomena which visibly stick out of the debris of the past 19 and 18tends to ignore the small drama and fine detail of social existence, especially at its lower depths 19 (138). My questions do not relate to the ordinary apparatus of historiography. They concern those phenomena that lie half-forgotten in the lower depths and are deemed to be minor because they have failed the test of significance inside the major event. To answer them we have to descend into the lower depths of indenture history.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2012 20:51
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2013 19:48

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