Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court - South Asia Across the Disciplines (Paperback)
  • Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court - South Asia Across the Disciplines (Paperback)
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Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court - South Asia Across the Disciplines (Paperback)

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£22.00
Paperback 384 Pages / Published: 08/01/2019
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Culture of Encounters documents the fascinating exchange between the Persian-speaking Islamic elite of the Mughal Empire and traditional Sanskrit scholars, which engendered a dynamic idea of Mughal rule essential to the empire's survival. This history begins with the invitation of Brahman and Jain intellectuals to King Akbar's court in the 1560s, then details the numerous Mughal-backed texts they and their Mughal interlocutors produced under emperors Akbar, Jahangir (1605-1627), and Shah Jahan (1628-1658). Many works, including Sanskrit epics and historical texts, were translated into Persian, elevating the political position of Brahmans and Jains and cultivating a voracious appetite for Indian writings throughout the Mughal world.

The first book to read these Sanskrit and Persian works in tandem, Culture of Encounters recasts the Mughal Empire as a polyglot polity that collaborated with its Indian subjects to envision its sovereignty. The work also reframes the development of Brahman and Jain communities under Mughal rule, which coalesced around carefully selected, politically salient memories of imperial interaction. Along with its groundbreaking findings, Culture of Encounters certifies the critical role of the sociology of empire in building the Mughal polity, which came to irrevocably shape the literary and ruling cultures of early modern India.

Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231173636
Number of pages: 384
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In Culture of Encounters, Audrey Truschke makes a compelling argument for the importance of Sanskrit and Sanskrit intellectuals in the Mughal court. Although certain aspects of these 'encounters' have been researched before, Truschke's work is more comprehensive, and her precise textual analyses go further than any others so far. This is an important and impressive work that should change the field of Mughal studies. -- Francesca Orsini, SOAS, University of London
A remarkable achievement. Exploiting a substantial archive of Sanskrit materials, Truschke reveals a vibrantly multicultural Mughal court, one more thoroughly Indian than is commonly thought, owing to its close engagement with the land's oldest literary culture. -- Richard M. Eaton, University of Arizona
Cultures of Encounter is a breakthrough in modern scholarship on the history and culture of South Asia. This absorbing account of the interaction of Persian and Sanskrit offers a powerful corrective to conventional one-sided narratives. -- Carl W. Ernst, University of North Carolina
A welcome and much-needed intervention in the field. . . . [Truschke] should be congratulated for her important contribution. * Journal of Early Modern History *
The impressive breadth of Truschke's research in multiple archives and her clear analysis of a challenging subject makes this a notable contribution to Mughal and Sanskrit literary history. * Journal of Asian Studies *
Truschke excels at presenting complex phenomena in a subtle and thorough manner. A clear line of argumentation binds the book's variegated tapestry together. The prose, moreover, is readable and elegant. * H-Asia *
Culture of Encounters represents a major advance in our understanding of South Asian political culture and should be read by all of those with a serious interest in the pre-colonial era. The convincing evidence of Sanskrit's significance in the multicultural and multilinguistic milieu of the Mughal court it contains will certainly guide future research; its arguments and interpretations are likewise sure to stimulate further debate on the elite culture of the Mughal empire. -- Cynthia Talbot * Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies *
The benefits of this book make it richly worth the while of cultural historians of Mughal India and literary scholars of precolonial Persian, Sanskrit, and South Asian vernacular literatures. * International Journal of Middle East Studies *
I highly recommend Culture of Encounters as not only an innovative study of Mughal courtly aesthetic culture but also for its ability to foster a greater interest in questions of the construction of sovereignty and political theology in early modern India. Libraries at any institution of higher education need to have this book on its shelves. -- Caleb Simmons * New Books Asia *
If ever a book needed no justification for its publication, that book is Culture of Encounters by Audrey Truschke. In short, this book provides a much needed new and comprehensive analysis of Sanskrit textual production (and the Persian appraisal of it) at the Mughal court. -- Ali Anooshahr University of California, Davis * Journal of Early Modern History *
This book is extremely rich and is important on many levels. . . . Libraries at any institution of higher education need to have this book on its shelves. * New Books Asia *

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