Ordinary People on the Move: Subaltern Cosmopolitanisms in Amitav Ghosh’s Writings

Authors

  • Anjali Gera Roy, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

Abstract

This essay draws on Ulf Hannerz’s notion of locals and cosmopolitans and Zygmunt Bauman’s idea of the tourists and the vagabonds to focus on the movements of ordinary folks in Ghosh’s works due to a number of reasons that equip them with an “orientation towards the other†(Berland 124). Borrowing Joseph Berland’s category of “multi-service nomads,†it argues that his engagement with these movements anticipates the new discourse on cosmopolitanism and shows that in contrast to contemporary cosmopolitan narratives that privilege the movements of the new professional, intellectual or artistic elite, Ghosh recovers the buried narratives of those who may be called subaltern cosmopolitans even though their movements might have been triggered from above. After summarising contemporary understandings of cosmopolitanism as developed in the discourse of globalisation, the essay proceeds to uncover such cosmopolitanism that was produced through the contact zones created by trade, travel and indenturement.

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Author Biography

Anjali Gera Roy, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

Anjali Gera Roy is Professor in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. She has published a number of essays in literary, film and cultural studies. Her publications include Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond (Aldersgate: Ashgate, 2010), (with Nandi Bhatia) Partitioned Lives: Narratives of Home, Displacement and Resettlement (Delhi: Pearson Longman, 2008), (with Chua Beng Huat) The Travels of Indian Cinema: From Bombay to LA (Delhi: Oxford UP, 2012) and The Magic of Bollywood: At Home and Abroad (Delhi: Sage, 2012).

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Published

2012-06-15

How to Cite

Roy, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, A. G. (2012). Ordinary People on the Move: Subaltern Cosmopolitanisms in Amitav Ghosh’s Writings. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 6(1), 32–46. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/400

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Articles