Presented here is a novel approach to understanding the relationship between the past and the present using the unique concept of re-use, wherein elements from the past are strategically adapted into the present, and thus become part of a new modernity. The book uses this method as a heuristic tool for analyzing and interpreting cultural and political changes and the transnational flow of ideas, concepts and objects. The chapters apply this concept to South Asia but the concept of re-use and the method of its application are both general and amenable to cross-cultural and comparative analysis.
Re-use is a collection of well-researched and lucidly written scholarly articles that apply the concept of re-use to different aspects of cultural, political and material life—from art, architecture and jewelry to religion, statesmen and legislatures. By not treating artistic, political, religious and cultural developments as linear evolutions, this book encourages readers to understand them as a continuous modification of the past and a periodic return to earlier forms.
Beautifully illustrated with exquisite images, and containing a scholarly bibliography pointing in the direction of hitherto unexplored terrain, this new text will be a source of inspiration to the specialist and a source of delight to the general reader.