Paper abstract

Kamal Adhikary kamal at
Wed May 1 21:27:17 UTC 1996

Dear Colleagues:
        I have posted below a portion of the paper presented by 
Prof. John Richards, Duke University, at the South Asia Seminar, Asian 
Studies, the University of TX at Austin. If you would like to read the 
full paper I have posted it  at:'Indian.html

		 " Early Modern India and World History".  

			John F. Richards
                        Duke University

convenience 1500 to 1800-- of our present era human societies shared in 
and were affected by several world-wide processes of change unprecedented 
in their scope and intensity. Along with many other historians, I call 
these centuries early modern. We distinguish this period from the earlier 
medieval centuries preceding and the modern nineteenth and twentieth 
centuries. Whether we are now in a post-modern period is a matter of 
conjec- ture, at least in my view.  Contrary to many scholars, I do not 
regard this periodization as driven by purely Europcentric considerations. 
The term early modern is merely an attempt to capture the reality of 
rapid, massive change in the way humans organized themselves and  interacted
with other human beings and with the natural world. For South Asian 
history I believe it makes a good deal of sense to use the term early 
modern instead of Mughal India, or late medieval India, or late 
precolonial India for the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries.  To 
do so would help in reducing the extent to which India is seen as 
exceptional, unique, exotic and somehow detached from world history.
      In this essay, I will set out the prevailing attributes of the 
early modern world as seen from a global perspective and then try to 
place India (or South Asia) within its own context in the early modern 
world. I am convinced ...




Kamal R. Adhikary, Ph.D.
Internet Coordinator, Asian Studies
UT, Austin, Texas 78712
Email:kamal at

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