Records, Recoveries, Remnants and Inter-Asian Interconnections: Decoding Cultural Heritage has its conceptual core the inter-regional networks of Nalanda Mahavihara and its unique place in the Asian imaginary. The revival of Nalanda university in 2010 as a symbol of a shared inter-Asian heritage is this collection’s core narrative. The multidisciplinary essays interrogate ways in which ideas, objects, texts, and travellers have shaped — and in turn have been shaped by — changing global politics and the historical imperative that underpins them. The question of what constitutes cultural authenticity and heritage valuation is inscribed from positions that support, negate, or reframe existing discourses with reference to Southeast and East Asia.
The essays in this collection offer critical, scholarly, and nuanced views on the vexed questions of regional and inter-regional dynamics, of racial politics and their flattening hegemonic discourses in relation to the rich tangible and intangible heritage that defines an interconnected Asia.