Travel, Migration, and the Conduct of Time

Prathama Benerjee

in Politics of Time

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195681567
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081677 | DOI:
Travel, Migration, and the Conduct of Time

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This chapter deals with the material dynamics through which spatial unity was made to compensate the temporal fracturing of the nation. The direct association between travel and history is demonstrated. Travel appeared to function as a historical act, by transforming spatial proximity into a simulation of temporal co-existence. The circulation of money and commodities supplemented the tracing of the nation through travel. It then shows the participation of Bengali discourses in the colonial constitution of ‘primitives’ as pure, transportable body-commodities, deprived of autonomous times and practices. The relationship between space and time was enunciated in a manner quite different from the space-time relations inherent in both colonial/ethnological travels and Bengali historical travels. Sanjivchandra’s Palamau brought together all the processes as generative of both Bengali identity and Bengali self-criticism.

Keywords: nation; travel; Bengali discourses; Sanjivchandra; Palamau; colonial constitution; material dynamics

Chapter.  14211 words. 

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