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Dwelling in the ArchiveWomen Writing House, Home, and History in Late Colonial India$
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Antoinette Burton

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195144253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195144253.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022



Interiority, Architecture, and Historical Imagination in Janaki Majumdar’s “Family History”

(p.31) Chapter Two HOUSE, DAUGHTER, NATION
Dwelling in the Archive

Antoinette Burton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by discussing Janaki Agnes Penelope Majumdar's family history. It then explains that family history is a commemorative practice that creates a very specific kind of archive. It describes Majumdar's “Family History” in the context of colonial Bengal as one that acts as a counternarrative to the family romance that underpinned elite discourses of nationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It examines what this work of reconstruction meant in the context of 1930s Indian nation-building in the hands of a prominent nationalist's daughter who was bold enough to chronicle her family's history, and in the process, to reveal her own persistent desire for the elusive fiction of home. It aims to answer recent calls for attention to the role of remembering and forgetting in the “circuits of nationalist thinking” by regrounding the history of Indian Congress nationalism in the social life of “things” like house and home.

Keywords:   family history, Janaki Agnes Penelope Majumdar, nationalism, nineteenth century, twentieth century, home, house, social life, nation-building

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