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Wed 12 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
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    14.00 - 16.00
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Fri 14 April
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    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
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Sat 15 April
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    14.00 - 16.00

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Wednesday 12 April 2023 11.00 - 13.00
D-2 ASI01 Archival Matters (?) – Rethinking Methodologies in Indian Social History
B21
Network: Asia Chair: Maria Pomohaci
Organizers: Saeed Ahmad, Catharina Haensel Discussant: Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay
Moderators: -
Saeed Ahmad : Recovering Emigrant Pasts(?): Neighbourhood City-making in Contemporary Delhi
This paper addresses historical fieldwork in a neighbourhood in Delhi, India by juxtaposing archival traces with oral histories of an absent Muslim population. Following the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, Muslims of the Jangpura-Bhogal locality departed for Muslim majority neighbourhoods or Pakistan, and were replaced by Sikh and ... (Show more)
This paper addresses historical fieldwork in a neighbourhood in Delhi, India by juxtaposing archival traces with oral histories of an absent Muslim population. Following the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, Muslims of the Jangpura-Bhogal locality departed for Muslim majority neighbourhoods or Pakistan, and were replaced by Sikh and Hindu refugees. The very nature of a scarce and fragmentary neighbourhood archive necessitates an ethnographic engagement with oral histories and the palimpsestic space of neighbourhood. The discussion focusses on attempts to recover this history through archival fragments and the contemporary landscape of spatial residence patterns, religious sites, memorial slippages, and silences. By exploring present pasts, the paper illustrates neighbourhood and city-making through its accretive dispossessions and erasures. Thus, the methodological challenges reveal subtle processes and histories advocating a return to the archive through its presents. (Show less)

Catharina Haensel : The Shopfloor in the Archives – Wage Politics in Ahmedabad, 1947-58
This paper seeks to explore the economic, legal and political aspects of wages in India through the lens of the making of industrial spaces in archives of industrial labour. How did the boundaries between “shopfloor matters” and non-industrial matters contribute to the creation of insiders and outsiders within categories of ... (Show more)
This paper seeks to explore the economic, legal and political aspects of wages in India through the lens of the making of industrial spaces in archives of industrial labour. How did the boundaries between “shopfloor matters” and non-industrial matters contribute to the creation of insiders and outsiders within categories of the “working class” in-the-making? Laws applied to certain sectors, certain enterprises and groups of people who became incorporated into the legal framework. Further divisions occurred through varying definitions of workers, different payment scales, thereby reproducing and intersecting with cultural divisions of caste, class and gender. In other words, in this concept wages are not a one-dimensional line of conflict but rather mark various socio-economic aspects and divisions: its composition (basic wage, dearness allowance and bonus), its functions (subsistence/minimum wage, living wage and fair wage) and its implications in the realm of the industrialization and nation-building project. (Show less)

Nokmedemla Lemtur : Labour(ers) in the Archives: Tracing High Altitude Labourers of Himalayan Mountaineering Expeditions in the Inter-war Period
This paper explores the traces of high altitude labourers of the Himalayan mountaineering expeditions in the inter-war period across various archives. With the mountaineering expeditions in this period occurring in the Himalayan region and recruiting indigenous labour, the conception and logistics were planned in the far flung metropoles. This paper ... (Show more)
This paper explores the traces of high altitude labourers of the Himalayan mountaineering expeditions in the inter-war period across various archives. With the mountaineering expeditions in this period occurring in the Himalayan region and recruiting indigenous labour, the conception and logistics were planned in the far flung metropoles. This paper reverts the gaze on the institutions such as the German Himalayan Foundation and the Mount Everest Committee that organised the mountaineering expeditions, and explores the various ways and through various mediums, such people who were considered crucial for the success (or failure) of climbing the lofty Himalayan peaks are represented and remembered. (Show less)

Vishal Singh Deo : What’s in it for the Archive? Revisiting the Archival Method as an Interrogation of Empire, Property and the Rational of Laissez-faire
The paper locates the colonial revenue archive in India (1803 and onwards) as a vehicle of imperial rule and punitive criminalization, in contrast to its obfuscating role of portraying conditions of laissez faire or methods of revenue extraction. Using the example of West U.P the paper shows how the archive ... (Show more)
The paper locates the colonial revenue archive in India (1803 and onwards) as a vehicle of imperial rule and punitive criminalization, in contrast to its obfuscating role of portraying conditions of laissez faire or methods of revenue extraction. Using the example of West U.P the paper shows how the archive can be re-imagined by remaining attentive to the historians contemporaneous socio-political temporalities. Such an exercise is borne out of the lens of field notes, oral memory, and official files lodged in government offices, where the act of archiving and history writing is pushed to respond to the quotidian exercise of field work and documentation. This, as the paper argues, offers the historical method the potential to excavate longer continuums of violence and criminalisation that traverse the colonial and post colonial. (Show less)



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