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The Performance of Nationalism
India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition

$24.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in Modern Theatre

  • Date Published: January 2013
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781139847773

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  • Imagine the patriotic camaraderie of national day parades. How crucial is performance for the sustenance of the nation? The Performance of Nationalism considers the formation of the Indian and Pakistani nation, in the wake of the most violent chapter of its history: the partition of the subcontinent. In the process, Jisha Menon offers a fresh analysis of nationalism from the perspective of performance. Menon recuperates the manifold valences of 'mimesis' as aesthetic representation, as the constitution of a community of witnesses, and as the mimetic relationality that underlies the encounter between India and Pakistan. The particular performances considered here range from Wagah border ceremonies to the partition theatre of Asghar Wajahat, Kirti Jain, M. K. Raina, and the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak and M. S. Sathyu. By pointing to the tropes of twins, doubles, and doppelgängers that suffuse these performances, this study troubles the idea of two insular, autonomous nation-states of India and Pakistan. In the process, Menon recovers mimetic modes of thinking that unsettle the reified categories of identity politics.

    • Offers a new way of thinking about nationalism, through the lens of performance
    • Explores the relationship between India and Pakistan through the trope of mimesis
    • Examines a new archive of imaginative and embodied representations of the subcontinental partition
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2013
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781139847773
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Bordering on drama: the performance of politics and the politics of performance
    3. Ghatak's cinema and the discoherence of the Bengal partition
    4. The poetics and politics of accommodation
    5. Somatic texts and the gender of partition
    6. Kashmir: hospitality and the 'unfinished business' of partition.

  • Author

    Jisha Menon, Stanford University, California
    Jisha Menon is Assistant Professor of Drama at Stanford University, California.

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