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Beyond National Frames: South Asian Pasts and the World advocates re-orienting our vision that has so far seen South Asia as a tightly circumscribed space. Envisioning a mobile South Asia flowing beyond its geographical confines, this volume of essays showcases a history transcending present borders of both land and sea resulting in a truly connected transnational history of Asia and the Indian Ocean world.
Recommending a shift from the conventional region or nation-centred histories to spaces seen as borderless, the essays in this book re-evaluate known sources, open up fresh ones, raise new questions and attempt to find answers to them. New formulations, novel hypotheses and innovative spatialities are seen in the resultant cross-regional histories.
The emphasis in Beyond National Frames is on sources. Sources are central to history. The dual nature of the source—as archive (text and terrain) and also as window (context)—poses a challenge to the scholar. Hence, the need to take stock of the sources we have inherited, to visualize the sources we can access and to reflect on new histories which become possible once they are accessed. This volume, thus, presents a dynamic South Asia as a crossroads of cultural influences and shows innovative ways of using sources to yield fresh perspectives and new data.