Print Modernity in Colonial Assam considers the historical context of colonial Assam and traces literary trends which were subject to acknowledgment and evasion in the (over)emphasized periodicals and magazines of the time. Raktima Bhuyan and Sanjib Pol Deka argue for alternative literary trends and reading public in colonial Assam. The standardization of the Assamese language, along with the rise of the middle-class, engendered 'purity' of the language and experimentation with western mediums like the novel. This book places 'pre-modern verse' as an alternative literary practice equally embraced by the reading public during this period. At the threshold of Indian independence, issues like education as a blessing of colonial modernity needs to be subjected to discourses of morality and gender bias (and an attempt to prevent this) in the writings of the period, such as speeches, essays, and textbooks.
Raktima Bhuyan is research scholar in the Department of English at Tezpur University in Assam, India.
Sanjib Pol Deka is assistant professor in the Department of Assamese at Tezpur University in Assam, India.
Chapter 1: The Coming of Print
Chapter 2: The Curious Case of Sutika Patal: Modernity, Translation and Women’s Health
Chapter 3: Print and the Peasant: Bhimacarita, Storytelling and 19th Century Agriculture
Chapter 4: Gendered Print(?): Models of the Ideal Feminine, Modernity, and Women’s Organizations
Chapter 5: Textualizing our Modernity: Print, Textbooks, and the Colonial Child
About the Authors