Slavery and South Asian History

Slavery and South Asian History

Edited by Indrani Chatterjee and Richard M Eaton
Distribution: Global except India
Publication date: 10/12/2006
Format: Paperback 4 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-21873-5
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[W]ill be welcomed by students of comparative slavery.... [It] makes us reconsider the significance of slavery in the subcontinent." —Edward A. Alpers, UCLA

Despite its pervasive presence in the South Asian past, slavery is largely overlooked in the region’s historiography, in part because the forms of bondage in question did not always fit models based on plantation slavery in the Atlantic world. This important volume will contribute to a rethinking of slavery in world history, and even the category of slavery itself. Most slaves in South Asia were not agricultural laborers, but military or domestic workers, and the latter were overwhelmingly women and children. Individuals might become slaves at birth or through capture, sale by relatives, indenture, or as a result of accusations of criminality or inappropriate sexual behavior. For centuries, trade in slaves linked South Asia with Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The contributors to this collection of original essays describe a wide range of sites and contexts covering more than a thousand years, foregrounding the life stories of individual slaves wherever possible.

Contributors are Daud Ali, Indrani Chatterjee, Richard M. Eaton, Michael H. Fisher, Sumit Guha, Peter Jackson, Sunil Kumar, Avril A. Powell, Ramya Sreenivasan, Sylvia Vatuk, and Timothy Walker.

Author Bio

Indrani Chatterjee is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.

Richard M. Eaton is Professor of History at the University of Arizona.


““[Slavery and South Asian History] will be welcomed by students of comparative slavery. . . . [It] makes us reconsider the significance of slavery in the subcontinent.” —Edward A. Alpers, UCLA This important volume will contribute to a rethinking of slavery in world history, and even the category of slavery itself. ”

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
Preface and Acknowledgments
Note on Translation and Transliteration

Introduction Richard M. Eaton
1. Renewed and Connected Histories: Slavery and the Historiography of South Asia Indrani Chatterjee
2. War, Servitude, and the Imperial Household: A Study of Palace Women in the Chola Empire Daud Ali
3. Turkish Slaves on Islam's Indian Frontier Peter Jackson
4. Service, Status, and Military Slavery in the Delhi Sultanate: Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries Sunil Kumar
5. The Rise and Fall of Military Slavery in the Deccan, 1450<N>1650 Richard M. Eaton
6. Drudges, Dancing Girls, Concubines: Female Slaves in Rajput Polity, 1500<N>1850 Ramya Sreenivasan
7. Slavery, Society, and the State in Western India, 1700<N>1800 Sumit Guha
8. Bound for Britain: Changing Conditions of Servitude, 1600<N>1857 Michael H. Fisher
9. Bharattee's Death: Domestic Slave-Women in Nineteenth-Century Madras Sylvia Vatuk
10. Slaves or Soldiers? African Conscripts in Portuguese India, 1857<N>1860 Timothy Walker
11. Indian Muslim Modernists and the Issue of Slavery in Islam Avril A. Powell
12. Slavery, Semantics, and the Sound of Silence Indrani Chatterjee

List of Contributors