Professor Aditya Malik gets a contract with one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious publishers for his forthcoming book

May 31, 2016

Professor Aditya Malik, the Dean of the School of Historical Studies at Nalanda University has been offered a contract with one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious publishers, Walter De Gruyter (founded in Berlin in 1749) to publish his new book in the De Gruyter Open Access Series. His new volume is tentatively titled: Hammira: Inception of a History.

The specific focus of this book is on the story of the 13th century legendary Rajput chieftain Hammira, and the shifting religious and political meanings the narrative achieves in different textual, historical, and historiographical contexts, medieval as well as modern. The primary text that the book will analyze is the 1500 verse Sanskrit poetical work, Hammira-Mahakavya (HM) that was composed by the Jain poet Nayachand Suri in western India in 1401. Besides the HM, our knowledge of Hammira is also derived from a number of other sources like inscriptions, Persian narrative and textual sources such as the Ghurrat-ul-Kamal of Amir Khusrau (14th century CE), the Tarikh-i- Firoz Shahi of Ziauddin Barani (14th century CE), as well as later Hindi and Rajasthani works such as the Hammiraraso of Jodharaja (18th century CE), Hammirahatha of Chandrashekhara (n.d.), and Hammirayan of Bhandauvyas (n.d.).

Images of Hammira's fortress of Ranthambore, south eastern Rajasthan.

Images of Hammira’s fortress of Ranthambore, south eastern Rajasthan

-courtesy Professor Malik.

While some recent academic studies have begun to probe the fluid boundaries of religions, this new work of Professor Malik’s focuses on the relationship between shared social and literary spaces, and shared relationships in an historical and contemporary perspective while suggesting that there are ideological, historiographical, and sociological forces that support both the expansion and contraction of these spaces. In other words, such shared spaces are in constant competition with powerful narratives that push toward rigidity and fixity. They may be expressed through the historiographies of various interrelated oral “texts,” including epics, ballads, and written poetical and historical narratives. Such narratives and ritual spaces challenge nationalist and imperialist accounts that attempt to constrain the existence of fluid movements.

A co-edited Volume by Professor Malik also published

Professor Malik, has also recently published a co-edited volume together with Will Sweetman (Associate Professor of Asian Religions, Otago University, New Zealand) titled: Hinduism in India: Modern and Contemporary Movements (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2016, pp. 356). The volume contains contributions from well-known scholars from India, USA, UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. The topics covered in the book include among others: Hinduism and Modernity, Hinduism and Law, Media Hinduism, Hinduism and Healing, Hinduism and Caste, and Folk Hinduism. The volume will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Religious Studies, Hinduism, Modern Indian History, and other scholars with a general interest in Hinduism.

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