Casting Kings

Casting Kings : Bards and Indian Modernity

By (author) 

List price: US$99.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

Based on three years of anthropological fieldwork in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Casting Kings explores the manner in which semi-nomadic performers known as Bhats understand, and also subvert, caste hierarchies. A number of scholars have recently contended that caste is invented and thus a fiction of a kind. But focus in these studies is typically placed on the way caste is imagined according to the agendas and desires of elite Westerners such as colonial officials. In this book, by contrast, the author argues that Bhats themselves understand the imaginative dimensions of caste relations. Indeed, such insights are shown to lie at the heart of the Bhats traditional profession of praise- and insult-singing. Likewise, the author demonstrates how the ability to cleverly rework and even sabotage lingering caste inequalities continues to form the basis for Bhat claims to status and dignity in contemporary India.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 250 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 20.32mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1 map, 23 halftones
  • 0195304349
  • 9780195304343

Review quote

"By approaching South Asia's famous social hierarchies, often glossed as 'caste, ' through the minds, eyes, performances, histories, proverbs, songs, jokes, tricks, and money-making tactics of a community that calls itself Bhat -- currently puppeteers to tourists, but historically genealogists to leatherworkers (as well as acrobats) -- Snodgrass provides fresh views on perpetually compelling issues. From their marginal position, Bhats offer wonderful insights into how hierarchy may be instrumentally constructed and deconstructed. They keep both Snodgrass and his readers guessing about the nature of history, power, identity, and truth." --Ann Grodzins Gold, co-author of In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthan "By approaching South Asia's famous social hierarchies, often glossed as 'caste, ' through the minds, eyes, performances, histories, proverbs, songs, jokes, tricks, and money-making tactics of a community that calls itself Bhat -- currently puppeteers to tourists, but historically genealogists to leatherworkers (as well as acrobats) -- Snodgrass provides fresh views on perpetually compelling issues. From their marginal position, Bhats offer wonderful insights into how hierarchy may be instrumentally constructed and deconstructed. They keep both Snodgrass and his readers guessing about the nature of history, power, identity, and truth." --Ann Grodzins Gold, co-author of In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthan "By approaching South Asia's famous social hierarchies, often glossed as 'caste, ' through the minds, eyes, performances, histories, proverbs, songs, jokes, tricks, and money-making tactics of a community that calls itself Bhat -- currently puppeteers to tourists, but historically genealogists toleatherworkers (as well as acrobats) -- Snodgrass provides fresh views on perpetually compelling issues. From their marginal position, Bhats offer wonderful insights into how hierarchy may be instrumentally constructed and deconstructed. They keep both Snodgrass and his readers guessing about thenature of history, power, identity, and truth." --Ann Grodzins Gold, co-author of In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthan "By approaching South Asia's famous social hierarchies, often glossed as 'caste, ' through the minds, eyes, performances, histories, proverbs, songs, jokes, tricks, and money-making tactics of a community that calls itself Bhat -- currently puppeteers to tourists, but historically genealogists to leatherworkers (as well as acrobats) -- Snodgrass provides fresh views on perpetually compelling issues. From their marginal position, Bhats offer wonderful insights into how hierarchy may be instrumentally constructed and deconstructed. They keep both Snodgrass and his readers guessing about the nature of history, power, identity, and truth." --Ann Grodzins Gold, co-author of In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthanshow more

About Jeffrey G. Snodgrass

Jeffrey G. Snodgrass, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Colorado State University, has published widely on caste, performance, and religion in India. He is the recipient of grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Killam Foundation, and most recently the National Geographic Society. He is currently examining the impact of deforestation on the health and healing practices of Tribal communities in southern Rajasthan.show more