A/Prof Kama Maclean
- Phone: 9385 3665
- Email: email@example.com
- Building: Morven Brown
- Room No: 366
BA PhD La Trobe, Grad Dip L & T UNSW
Over the past ten years, I have worked across a range of topics related to north India, including nationalist mobilisation, the politics of pilgrimage, theories of social communication and intercolonial histories. This work has drawn on a range of
research methodologies and disciplines, from political science, history, anthropology and visual culture studies.
My forthcoming book, 'A Revolutionary History: Violence and Nationalism in Interwar India' (London: Hurst & Co., 2013) revisits the historiography of the Indian freedom struggle, which has been largely framed as a triumph for the Gandhian ideology of non-violence, despite the fairly regular eruptions of anti-colonial violence that peppered British India in the early twentieth century. I focus on the politics of Indian nationalism from its moment of acceleration in the interwar period following the visitation of the Simon Commision, to factor in the political impact of the North Indian revolutionaries; the votaries of violence who coordinated attacks on colonial interests in an attempt to undermine British confidence and expedite decolonisation. Focussing on the activities of one organisation, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA), the book draws on new evidence to deliver a fresh perspective on the ambitions, ideologies and practices of this influential party, formed by Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh and inspired by transnational anti-imperial dissent.
The core argument of the book is that the presence of the revolutionaries on the political landscape during these crucial years tested and ultimately redefined the Congress policy of nonviolence. The book is therefore both a history of the north Indian revolutionaries in the interwar period, and a history which is revolutionary, in that it demonstrates the important role that the revolutionaries played in influencing Congress policy, bringing India closer to Independence. In re-visiting the history of a crucial phase of the independence movement as it has been framed by the foundational work of scholars researching in the 1970s, the book brings new methodologies and fresh modes of interpretation to the task of understanding the forces leading up to the civil disobedience movement, and the Salt Satyagraha, one of the greatest moments of Congress radicalism.
My current project, funded by an ARC Discovery Grant, 'Imagining India in White Australia: Intercolonial Relations and the Empire', explores the extent and impact of social and political relationships between Indians and Australians in the early twentieth century. Sites of meaningful, cosmopolitan exchange are to be found primarily in religious movements such as the Theosophical Society, and in leftist political bodies such as the League Against Imperialism, both of which espoused internationalist sentiments of universal brotherhood, as well as in the efforts of extraordinary individuals who visited Australia, and championed Indian causes, such as C.F. Andrews and Annie Besant. The project explores the degree to which membership of the empire constrained but also enabled a certain imagination of India in Australia from federation to the 1950s.
Kama Maclean coordinates and teaches two courses, Modern India: British Raj to Bollywood (second year level) and Powerful India (third year). She is in the process of devising a third year course, A History of Violence and Non-violence.
In Session 1, 2013: Wednesdays, 2-3; or by appointment. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Revolutionary History: Violence and Nationalism in Interwar India. London: Hurst & Co., forthcoming.
Pilgrimage and Power: the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, 1765-2001. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Refereed Journal Articles
'What Durga Bhabhi Did Next: or, Was there a Gendered Agenda in Revolutionary Circles?’ South Asian History and Culture, Vol. 4, no. 2, 2013. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/BKmGSygk4XpKUip4Gg4i/full
‘The History of a Legend: Accounting for Popular Histories of Revolutionary Nationalism in India’, Modern Asian Studies,Vol. 46, no. 6, 2012.
‘Australia-India Relations and the Economy of Ideas’, East Asia Forum Quarterly, 2012, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2012, pp. 20-22.
‘The Portrait’s Journey: Image, Social Communication and Martyr-Making in India’, Journal of Asian Studies,Vol. 70, no. 4, November 2011, pp. 1051-1082.
'Seeing, Being Seen, and Not Being Seen: Pilgrimage, Tourism, and Layers of Looking at the Kumbh Mela', Crosscurrents, Vol. 59, No. 3, 2009, pp. 319-341.
‘Making the Colonial State Work for You: the Modern Beginnings of the Ancient Kumbh Mela’, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol 62, no. 3, August 2003, pp. 873-906.
‘Conflicting Spaces: The Fort of Allahabad and the Kumbh Mela, 1801-1860’, South Asia, Vol. XXIV, no. 2, December 2001, pp. 135-159.
‘Embracing the Untouchables: The BJP and Scheduled Caste Votes’, Asian Studies Review, Volume 23, No. 4, December 1999, pp. 488-509.
Refereed Journal Articles and Chapters
‘Situating the Role of Religion in the Rebellion: the Case of the Prayagwals of Allahabad’, in Crispin Bates (ed), Mutiny at the Margins, Delhi: Sage, 2013 (forthcoming).
‘India in Australia: A recent history of a very long engagement’, in Amit Sarwal (ed), Wanderings in India: Australian Perceptions, Melbourne: Monash Asia Institute, 2012.
‘Hindu Nationalist or Hybrid Nationalist: the life of Madan Mohan Malaviya’, for Kate Brittlebank (ed), Tales Tall and True: : India, Historiography and British Imperial Imaginings; Melbourne: Monash Asia Institute, 2008, pp. 107-137.
‘On the Modern Kumbh Mela’, in Arvind Mehrotra (ed), The Last Bungalow: an Anthology of writing on Allahabad, New Delhi: Penguin, 2007, pp. 285-306.
With Robin Jeffrey, John FitzGerald, and Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Maximising Australia’s Asia Knowledge: Repositioning and Renewal of a National Asset, Melbourne: ASAA, 2002.
Kama's current research projects include an examination of the Indian nationalist movement in the 1930s; and a study of Australia-India connections, 1901-1950.
Affiliations and Memberships
Editor, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies
Associate Editor: Journal of Religious History
Prizes, Awards and Fellowships
Professorial Research Fellow, University of the United Arab Emirates, 2009
Honorable mention, Anand Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize, Association of Asian Studies, 2009
Association of Asian Studies (AAS) First Book Subvention, 2007
Australian Academy of the Humanities (AAH) Fieldwork Fellowship, 2004
Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) Presidents’ Prize, 2004
Kama has been involved in a number of outreach activities regarding the teaching of Indian history and culture in Australian schools and in curriculum design, consulting with various state government education departments, organisations such as the Asia Education Foundation. She has also made presentations and prepared briefings for several government departments and stakeholders on matters relating to India in the Asian Century.
South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/csas20/current
A recent radio interview on the Kumbh Mela: http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s3702998.htm