Open Access (free)
Time-space, disciplines, margins
Author: Saurabh Dube

This book explores modernity, the disciplines, and their interplay by drawing in critical considerations of time, space, and their enmeshments. Based in anthropology and history, and drawing on social-political theory (as well as other, complementary, critical perspectives), it focuses on socio-spatial/disciplinary subjects and hierarchical-coeval tousled temporalities. The spatial/temporal templates reveal how modern enticements and antinomies, far from being analytical abstractions, intimate instead ontological attributes and experiential dimensions of the worlds in which we live, and the spaces and times that we inhabit and articulate. Then, the book considers the oppositions and enchantments, the contradictions and contentions, and the identities and ambivalences spawned under modernity. At the same time, rather than approach such antinomies, enticements, and ambiguities as analytical errors or historical lacks, which await their correction or overcoming, it attempts to critically yet cautiously unfold these elements as constitutive of modern worlds. The book draws on social theory, political philosophy, and other scholarship in the critical humanities in order to make its claims concerning the mutual binds between everyday oppositions, routine enchantments, temporal ruptures, and spatial hierarchies of a modern provenance. Then, it turns to issues of identity and modernity. Finally, the book explores the terms of modernism on the Indian subcontinent.

Open Access (free)
Antinomies and enticements
Saurabh Dube

This chapter considers aspects of the interplay of modernity and history, as entailing pervasive procedures of the temporalization of space and the spatialization of time. We have seen that these protocols have twin dimensions: on the one hand, they entail routine projections of historical time as necessarily homogeneous and yet founded on inaugural spatial ruptures; on the other

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
The omnibus and urban culture in nineteenth-century Paris
Author: Masha Belenky

Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris examines the connection between public transportation and popular culture in nineteenth-century Paris through a focus on the omnibus - a horse-drawn vehicle for mass urban transport which enabled contact across lines of class and gender. A major advancement in urban locomotion, the omnibus generated innovations in social practices by compelling passengers of diverse backgrounds to interact within the vehicle’s close confines. Although the omnibus itself did not actually have an engine, its arrival on the streets of Paris and in the pages of popular literature acted as a motor for a fundamental cultural shift in how people thought about the city, its social life, and its artistic representations. At the intersection of literary criticism and cultural history, Engine of Modernity argues that for nineteenth-century French writers and artists, the omnibus was much more than a mode of transportation. It became a metaphor through which to explore evolving social dynamics of class and gender, meditate on the meaning of progress and change, and reflect on one’s own literary and artistic practices.

Open Access (free)
Identities and incitements
Saurabh Dube

This chapter focuses on questions and contentions of identity and modernity, entailing stipulations of time and space. Instead of approaching identity as an already given entity that is principally antithetical to modernity, in speaking of identities my reference is to wide-ranging processes of formations of subjects, expressing not only particular personhoods but also collective

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
An introduction
Saurabh Dube

This book explores modernity, the disciplines, and their interplay by drawing in critical considerations of time, space, and their enmeshments. Based in anthropology and history, and drawing on social-political theory (as well as other, complementary, critical perspectives), it focuses on socio-spatial/disciplinary subjects and hierarchical-coeval tousled temporalities. My

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
Time and space
Saurabh Dube

This chapter is cast as a personal narrative. It unravels how I arrived at inklings and understandings of space and time – alongside those of disciplines and subjects, modernity and identity – that were explored in the Introduction and which lie at the core of this book. At stake are intimations that are at once familiar and strange. For, born to anthropologist parents, I

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
Entanglements and ambiguities
Saurabh Dube

This chapter discusses aspects of the interplay between the disciplines and modernity, as mediated by temporal-spatial imperatives. It focuses on the relationship between anthropology and history in order to discuss formations of modern knowledge as themselves forming critical subjects and crucial procedures of modernity. On the one hand, I explore the mutual interchange of time

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
Omnibus literature and popular culture in nineteenth-century Paris
Masha Belenky

of a new kind of cultural modernity, in the streets, on the page and on stage. For an example of how popular literature deployed the omnibus as a symbol of the popular, let us return to the vaudeville play Les omnibus, ou la revue en voiture . It is worth dwelling at some length on the very first play about the omnibus (and quite possibly the first literary text about it), because it perfectly articulates the association between public transit and popular culture. The play is a hilarious romp that taps into seemingly disparate but, in fact, deeply interconnected

in Engine of modernity
Open Access (free)
Masha Belenky

and thirty-five stanzas corresponding to the thirty-five stops along this particular bus line. Roubaud treats us to a panoply of imaginative strategies in order to convey the sensorial and social richness of the bus-riding experience. From inventive spelling and visual rhymes to ingenious uses of typography (the poems are printed in green, red and blue ink), a broad variety of topics and a dizzying choice of volume covers (six!), Ode à la ligne 29 playfully connects literary innovation with urban modernity, in all their kaleidoscopic multiplicity. The city bus

in Engine of modernity
Open Access (free)
An epilogue
Saurabh Dube

This epilogue turns attention to salient subjects of a modernist provenance on the Indian subcontinent. Now, in South Asia, a certain haziness regarding modernism and modernity derives not only from the manner in which they can be elided with each other, but the fact that they are both frequently filtered through the optics of modernization. At stake is the acute, albeit altering

in Subjects of modernity