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The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition by Jisha Menon (review)

The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition by Jisha Menon (review) Reviews 687 THE PERFORMANCE OF NATIONALISM: INDIA, PAKISTAN, AND THE MEMORY OF PARTITION. By Jisha Menon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Cloth, $89.10. While scholars have written a number of thought-provoking texts on the parti- tion of India and Pakistan and its continued effects on both the lives of indi- viduals and the role of various group identities, Jisha Menon is the first to explicitly embrace performance studies as a methodological approach to the subject. Menon’s book elegantly executes a performative reading of various aesthetic “memories” of partition, focusing on “the affective and performative constitution of the Indian and Pakistani nation” and their continuing effects on the ways in which identities are discursively produced in modern South Asia (pp. 5–6). In particular, Menon intends The Performance of Nationalism to “recover mimetic modes of thinking to unsettle the reified categories of iden- titarian politics” (p. 6). This novel approach combines close readings of film, literature, theatre, political performance, and ritual. At times, the wide variety of materials the text draws upon comes off as a bit disjointed, but Menon’s pathbreaking methodological approach challenges the reader to consider the performative implications and connections of big and small actions across genres and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

The Performance of Nationalism: India, Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition by Jisha Menon (review)

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 32 (2) – Sep 14, 2015

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-2109

Abstract

Reviews 687 THE PERFORMANCE OF NATIONALISM: INDIA, PAKISTAN, AND THE MEMORY OF PARTITION. By Jisha Menon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Cloth, $89.10. While scholars have written a number of thought-provoking texts on the parti- tion of India and Pakistan and its continued effects on both the lives of indi- viduals and the role of various group identities, Jisha Menon is the first to explicitly embrace performance studies as a methodological approach to the subject. Menon’s book elegantly executes a performative reading of various aesthetic “memories” of partition, focusing on “the affective and performative constitution of the Indian and Pakistani nation” and their continuing effects on the ways in which identities are discursively produced in modern South Asia (pp. 5–6). In particular, Menon intends The Performance of Nationalism to “recover mimetic modes of thinking to unsettle the reified categories of iden- titarian politics” (p. 6). This novel approach combines close readings of film, literature, theatre, political performance, and ritual. At times, the wide variety of materials the text draws upon comes off as a bit disjointed, but Menon’s pathbreaking methodological approach challenges the reader to consider the performative implications and connections of big and small actions across genres and

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 14, 2015

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