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Tracks of Change
Railways and Everyday Life in Colonial India

$105.00 (C)

  • Date Published: July 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107084216

$ 105.00 (C)
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  • From the mid-nineteenth century onwards, railways became increasingly important in the lives of a growing number of Indians. While allowing millions to collectively experience the endemic discomforts of third-class travel, the public opportunities for proximity and contact created by railways simultaneously compelled colonial society to confront questions about exclusion, difference, and community. It was not only passengers, however, who were affected by the transformations that railways wrought. Even without boarding a train, one could see railway tracks and embankments reshaping familiar landscapes, realise that train schedules represented new temporal structures, fear that spreading railway links increased the reach of contagion, and participate in new forms of popular politics focused around railway spaces. Tracks of Change explores how railway technology, travel, and infrastructure became increasingly woven into everyday life in colonial India, how people negotiated with the growing presence of railways, and how this process has shaped India's history.

    • Assesses the social, cultural and political impact of railways on colonial society
    • Contextualizes the Indian experience with railways in dialogue with shared and related experiences in other parts of the world
    • Studies how the need to coordinate this vast railway network was instrumental in establishing nationalized time in India
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'As a volume, Tracks of Change adds rich and nuanced layers to our current understanding of the impact of colonial Indian railways on the everyday lives of Indians.' Aparajita Mukhopadhyay, Reviews in History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107084216
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 238 x 160 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. The nature of the beast? An elementary logic for third-class travel
    2. Demand and supply? Railway space and social taxonomy
    3. Crime and punishment: in the shadow of railway embankments
    4. Railway time: speed, synchronization, and 'time-sense'
    5. Contagion and control: managing diseases, epidemics and mobility
    6. Designing rule: power, efficiency and anxiety
    7. Marking citizen from denizen: dissent, 'rogues', and rupture
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Ritika Prasad, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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