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The Cultural Economy of Land

Rural Bengal, circa 1860–1940

Suhita Sinha Roy

Edited by Mallarika Sinha Roy

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The Cultural Economy of Land: Rural Bengal, circa 1860–1940 is situated at two crossroads of agrarian history. The first is the cyclical seasonality of agriculture and the linear progressive time of technological innovation and political transformation; and the second is that of the economic and cultural meanings associated with land. Land acquires various dimensions beyond property, tenure, revenue and inheritance, if maps are connected with knowledge systems; land productivity with food habits, gender relations and patterns of migration; landscapes with modes of irrigation and railroad construction; cropping patterns with festivals; village territoriality with social relations of power. This book is an attempt to bring out the multilayered pattern of a rural life-world by tracing, on the one hand, major social and political changes, and on the other hand, the everyday life of Birbhum district at a specific historical juncture.

Mallarika Sinha Roy

Mallarika Sinha Roy is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Suhita Sinha Roy

Suhita Sinha Roy (1949–2010) taught history in Jhargram Raj College, Chandernagore College and Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta University, from 1979 to 2009. She was educated in Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal, from school to post-graduation level. Her continued interest in people's history and subaltern history inspired her to study everyday rural life in the district of Birbhum from the 1990s, which resulted in her dissertation for a PhD degree from Jadavpur University, Kolkata in 2006. Her research interests included local history, histories of castes and tribes, socialist history and women's history.