Elementary Aspects of the Political: Book Discussion

Book discussion on ‘Elementary Aspects of the Political: Histories from the Global South’ by Prathama Banerjee. It was chaired by Thomas Blom Hansen. The discussants included Ravi Vasudevan, Simona Sawhney and Sunil Amrith.

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Elementary Aspects of the Political moves beyond postcolonial and decolonial critiques of European political philosophy to rethink modern conceptions of "the political" from the perspective of the global South. Drawing on Indian and Bengali practices and philosophies from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it identifies four elements of the political: the self, action, the idea, and the people. The book reasserts the historical specificity of political thought and challenges modern assumptions about the universality, primacy, and self-evidence of the political. 

Prathama Banerjee is Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Thomas Blom Hansen is Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University.  

Ravi Vasudevan is Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Simona Sawhney is Associate Professor at Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi.

Sunil Amrith is the Renu and Anand Dhawan Professor of History at Yale University.

29 October 2021, 9 pm, Zoom https://bit.ly/2Z2gYX7