Featuring contributions from anthropologists, historians and political scientists working on South Asia the volume introduces “power plays” in various local contexts – rural and urban alike. Addressing the question of “en-Act-ment” of power the authors look at ritual(-ized) and often overtly performative acts – negotiations, elaborations, struggles – over resources and prestige, which are dramatized by using various cultural media and often, though not necessarily, linked to a divine sphere. Special focus is given to entanglements between the seriousness of “power”, the social as well as symbolic forces, on the one hand and the much less grave, less solemn, rather joyful “play” on the other hand. Frequently encountered and locally rarely perceived as inherently contradictory, the “power plays” introduced here hint at specific local, indigenous understandings of politics, rituals and performances.
About the editors:
Lidia Guzy Ph.D. is currently Project Director at the Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany. Her recent publications include “Par e Sur: Sounds of the Goddess of the Bora Sambar Region (Eastern India)” (CD & Booklet 2008) and the edition of “Religion and Music” (2008).
Uwe Skoda Ph.D. is Assistant Professor, South Asian Studies, at the Aarhus University, Denmark. His recent publications include “The Aghria – A Peasant Caste on a Tribal Frontier” (2005) and “Der Hindu-Nationalismus in Indien. Aufstieg, Konsolidierung, Niedergang?” (2005, edited together with Klaus Voll).