A History of India Through 75 Objects – Book by Sudeshna Guha | Department of History

A History of India Through 75 Objects – Book by Sudeshna Guha

Published by Hachette India (24 December 2022) A History of India Through 75 Objects encourages the appreciation of the complexity of history and demonstrates the importance of engaging with the scholarship of object-led and collections-led histories for increasing the remit of the historical and archaeological scholarship. The endorsements for the book include:

1. Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University:

A History of India through 75 Objects demonstrates how the objects that go into the construction of a history may initially be viewed just as objects, either of value or not. The transition from being an object and becoming a historical source, illuminating its own history in the process, is illustrated with deftness and sensitivity, and with an impressive historical reach on the part of the author. Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

2. Simon Schaffer, Professor, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

In this superbly arranged and delightfully illustrated book, Sudeshna Guha uses her deep scholarship and passionate engagement to show how select objects illuminate the complex histories of India. The range of artefacts encompassed here, from cloths and statuary to billboards and pumps, demonstrate that objects' significance shifts across boundaries, alters with time and place, and can never be reduced to a dominant story of nation or creed.

3. Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director and Professor, Courtauld Institute of Art: 

This volume takes the now familiar format of histories focussing on objects but brings to it that invaluable critical edge, so needed today. It evaluates in great depth how objects, whether 'authentic' or reflected through reproduction or representation, fashion experiential and social effects, thereby highlighting the importance of engaging with their powerful materiality and their multiple and changing meanings in the scholarship of history.