Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India

Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India
With this pioneering project, Margrit Pernau brings the ‘history of emotions’ approach to South Asian studies. A theoretically sophisticated and erudite investigation, Emotions and Modernity in Colonial India maps the history of emotions in India between the uprising of 1857 and World War I. Situating the prevalent experiences, interpretations, and practices of emotions of the time within the context of the major political events of colonial India, Pernau goes beyond the dominant narrative of colonial modernity and its fixation with discipline and restrain, and traces the contemporary transformation from a balance in emotions to the resurgence of fervor.

The current volume is based on a large archive of sources in Urdu, many being explored for the first time. Pernau grounds her work on such diverse sources as philosophical and theological treatises on questions of morality, advice literature, journals and newspapers, nostalgic descriptions of courtly culture, and even children’s literature. This close look into individual experiences, practices, and interpretations reveals the myriad emotions of the day, and the importance of these micro-histories in presenting an alternative account of colonial India.


Margrit Pernau


Oxford University Press






Social Sciences




Global Asia (Asia and other parts of the World)