The K.R Cama Oriental Institute | Musicophilia in Mumbai- Book Discussion

18 September 2020 

The team at TARQ is delighted to partner with the K.R Cama Oriental Institute for a book discussion around the recent release, ‘Musicophilia in Mumbai: Performing Subjects and the Metropolitan Unconscious’ by Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana, which examines the popularity of Hindustani-North Indian-music in Mumbai from the late 19th century to the present by seeking to understand the historical context through which the music entered into and structured urban spaces.Join us as the author takes us on a fascinating journey of performative spaces and the lives lived within, in conversation with Dr. Kaiwan Mehta. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A Session. 


Click here to view the discussion.


About the Book:
In Musicophilia in Mumbai, Tejaswini Niranjana traces the place of Hindustani classical music in Mumbai throughout the long twentieth century as the city moved from being a seat of British colonial power to a vibrant postcolonial metropolis. Drawing on historical archives, newspapers, oral histories, and interviews with musicians, critics, students, and instrument makers as well as her own personal experiences as a student of Hindustani classical music, Niranjana shows how the widespread love of music throughout the city created a culture of collective listening that brought together people of diverse social and linguistic backgrounds. This culture produced modern subjects Niranjana calls musicophiliacs, whose subjectivity was grounded in a social rather than an individualistic context. By attending concerts, learning instruments, and performing at home and in various urban environments, musicophiliacs embodied forms of modernity that were distinct from those found in the West. In tracing the relationship between musical practices and the formation of the social subject, Niranjana opens up new ways to think about urbanity, subjectivity, culture, and multiple modernities.

The book is published in India by Tulika Books 

About the Author:
Tejaswini Niranjana is the author of Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context (University of California Press, 1992), Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad (Duke University Press, 2006), and Musicophilia in Mumbai (Duke University Press, 2020).
Her most recent edited volumes are Music, Modernity and Publicness in India (Oxford UP, 2020), and with Wang Xiaoming, Genealogies of the Asian Present: Situating Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (Orient Blackswan, 2015).
Dr. Niranjana is currently Professor of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She is co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, which offered an innovative inter-disciplinary PhD programme from 2000-2012. During 2012-16, she headed the Centre for Indian Languages in Higher Education at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and was Indian-language advisor to Wikipedia. She has been Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and Yonsei University, Seoul; and a Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (NUS-Singapore), the Institut de Etudes Avancees (Nantes, France), and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Germany).

About the Institute:
The K R Cama Oriental Institute was established in 1916 through funds collected from the citizens of Bombay to perpetuate the memory of Mr Kharshedji Rustomji Cama, the renowned oriental scholar, linguist, social reformer and educationist who passed away in 1909. The Institute was formally inaugurated on 18 December 1916 by the then Governor of the Bombay Presidency, Lord Willingdon.

The Institute is one of the oldest and most prestigious Institutes in India in the field of cultural and historical studies. The objectives of the institute include the study, promotion and advancement of research and publications in the fields of Oriental cultural and historical studies. The Institute promotes research by awarding scholarships and fellowships and also publishes its own journal and books.

The Institute Library, which is considered as one of the best among its type in the world, is the treasure house for the study and research in religions, history and cultures of India. Nationally and internationally reputed scholars take advantage of the excellent facilities provided at the Institute’s library.

Between 2001 and 2020 the Institute organised a series of National and International Seminars on “Ferdowsi and his Shahnameh” (2001), “The Life and Work of Dr Sir J J Modi” (2004), “Universal Influence of Moulana Jalaluddin Rumi” (2005), “The Contribution Made By The Parsis To The Development Of Different Aspects Of Education In The 19th and 20th Centuries In Western India” (2009), “Architecture As Social History: Reflections On Bombay/Mumbai” (2010), “The Shahnameh” (2011), “Krishnadevaraya And His Times – Cultural Perspectives” (2012), “Indo-Hellenic Cultural Transactions” (2013), “Trading Circuits, Mobile Cultures: Port-Cities And Littoral Societies Of The Indian Ocean” (2014), “Cultural Dialogues Between India And Southeast Asia From The 7th To The 16th Centuries” (2015), “Textiles, Collections, Communities, Culture And Trade” (2016), “The Art And Culture Of Mughal India” (2017), “From Nisa To Niya: Reappraising Cultural Conduits And Commercial Centres Along The Silk Road” (2018), “Design, Culture And History - The Idea Of Objects In Modern And Contemporary India” held on 5 and 6 January 2019 and “The Forts Of Maharashtra”, held on 16 and 17 February 2019. The most recent seminar on “The Past and Future of Food on the Indian Subcontinent: Identity and Cultural Heritage” held on 11 and 12 January 2020 has been a great success.