LINGUIST List 32.1474

Tue Apr 27 2021

Books: Graphic Politics in Eastern India: Choksi

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 23-Apr-2021
From: Khadija Ahmed <>
Subject: Graphic Politics in Eastern India: Choksi
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Title: Graphic Politics in Eastern India
Subtitle: Script and the Quest for Autonomy
Published: 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly The Continuum International Publishing Group)

Book URL:

Author: Nishaant Choksi
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350159600 Pages: 224 Price: U.K. £ 76.50
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350159594 Pages: 224 Price: U.K. £ 76.50
Hardback: ISBN: 9781350159587 Pages: 224 Price: U.K. £ 85.00

Investigating the communicative practices of indigenous Santali speakers in eastern India, this book examines the overlooked role of script in regional movements for autonomy to provide one of the first comprehensive theoretical and ethnographical accounts of 'graphic politics'.

Based on extensive fieldwork in the villages of southwestern West Bengal, Nishaant Choksi explores the deployment of Santali scripts, including a newly created script called "Ol Chiki", in Bengali-dominated local markets, the education system and in the circulation of print media. He shows how manipulating the linguistic landscape and challenging the idea of a vernacular enables Santali speakers to delineate their own political domains and scale their language on local, regional and national levels. In doing so, they contest Bengali-speaking upper castes' hegemony over public spaces and institutions, as well as the administrative demarcations of the contemporary Indian nation-state.

Combining semiotic theory with ethnographically grounded investigation, "Graphic Politics in Eastern India" offers a new framework for understanding writing and literacy practices among ethnic minorities and points to future directions for interdisciplinary research on indigenous autonomy in South Asia.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Santali (sat)

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 27-Apr-2021