An interview with Sanjay Subramanyam
by Thomas Grillot & Anne-Julie Etter
published in La vie des Idees (27-01-2012).
History cannot be written as if nations had always been around, and as if men had not found countless ways to ignore their frontiers. Historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam invites his peers to make use of the riches that lie in the multilingual archives of humanity to reveal connections that were once relevant to huge areas of the world.
A polyglot and an historian, Sanjay Subrahmanyam has placed at the center of his research connections between sources and historiographies in different languages (Persian, Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, Portuguese, English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Dutch). He gracefully submitted to a French and English interview, the Gallic part of which can be accessed on La Vie des Idées. Answers to the same questions turned out to be largely complementary. We invite our readers to read both interviews as a whole.
For the interview in English, please click here.
For the interview in French, please click here.
In an interview, Japanese scholar Noboru Karashima speaks on his recent work, the state of historical research in universities and government institutes in India, and his deep concern over the uncertain future of the discipline of epigraphy in India.
By Parvathi Menon
Published in The Hindu 02/12/2010
It is now over 50 years since Noboru Karashima, now Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo, published his first study on the medieval economic history of South India – a small essay on land control in Allur and Isanamangalam villages in the Cauvery delta, based on a study of Chola inscriptions. With that he pioneered a methodological framework for studying inscriptions, and for interpreting the mass of information that this historical source contains. He is today a pre-eminent scholar on the medieval history of south India. He has also contributed significantly to a rich tradition of Japanese social science research on India, with his hallmark of careful empirical research. In this interview given to Parvathi Menon in Bangalore, the Japanese scholar speaks on his recent work, the state of historical research in universities and government institutes in India, and his deep concern over the uncertain future of the discipline of epigraphy in India.
To read the article from The Hindu click here.
Recent publication by Noboru Karashima
A new article by Noboru Karashima “Epigraphical Study of Ancient and Medieval Villages in the Tamil Country” was recently published in Review of Agrarian Studies, Volume 1, Number 2 (July-December, 2011).
Abstract: Inscriptions on stones or copper-plates, which occur in substantial numbers, are the basic source-material for the ancient and medieval history of India, as much of India lacks history books compiled in these periods. For pre-modern village studies as well, therefore, we have to depend on inscriptions.
In this paper I explain how the remains of inscriptions can be used for village studies by referring to my examination of Tamil inscriptions of the Chola period (10th to 13th centuries). Through their examination I have attempted to clarify the changes that occurred in the landholding system in the middle Chola period, and the great social change and upheaval that these represented.
I also demonstrate the importance of statistical analysis of inscriptional data, of techniques that I introduced into this field of study. Many interesting and important features of ancient and medieval villages can be known from inscriptions, including information on village types, cultivation practices, taxes on villages, and the people who lived in the villages.
The online version of the Review of Agrarian Studies is available for free at www.ras.org.in or www.reviewofagrarianstudies.org.