The Origins of Modern Historiography in India set out to argue that what resulted from the two disciplinary dispositions of antiquarianism and philology in early colonial India was a greater adherence to a progressive conception of history and an empirical historical method that privileged the establishment of “fact” and a linear “chronology” over precolonial narrative traditions of legitimacy, which were differently structured to convey historical truths. In precolonial India, historical memory and knowledge were indeed embedded in a variety of forms in Indian textual traditions. While oral transmission was an important avenue for historical memory to remain in circulation, recent scholarship has shown that regional and local traditions indeed produced distinct record keeping practices and narrative traditions—inclusive of chronicles, genealogies, and other narrative forms.
KeywordsHistorical Narrative Modern History Early Colonial Historical Method Historical Truth
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- 1.Prachi Deshpande, Creative Pasts: Historical Memory and Identity in Western India, 1700–1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007); Sumit Guha, “Transitions and Translations: Regional Power and Vernacular Identity in the Dakhan, 1500–1800,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 24, no. 2 (2004);Google Scholar
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