The FOCUS thematically concentrates on the politics of educational expansion and reform in modern India (19th-21st centuries) in relation to the issues of social inequality, and social difference. From the nineteenth century onwards, diverse actors were involved in building, contesting, and reshaping the colonial education system and its successor in independent India. Administrators, missionaries, social movements, and various reform associations have pursued diverse strategies to increase the reach of formal schooling, improve its quality, or adjust its social and political agendas. The case studies presented in this focus section explore both, efforts directed at the supply and regulation of modern education - such as institution-building, teacher-training, and the spread of expert knowledge - and policies to enhance the attractiveness of schools, and improve school attendance. All these efforts were in different ways responding to, and reshaping social inequality, and participated in the making and managing of social and cultural difference.

The FORUM section consists of five articles that rely on historical, statistical and anthropological sources, focussing on a diverse range of topics and are grounded in the disciplines of history, international relations, anthropology, economics and sociology. The themes engaged with include- physical anthropology, its development in Germany and travelling instruments that have informed the research of an Indian scientiest; the Indian state´s foreign policy vis-à-vis the Tibet question in the early postcolonial period and its historical precedents; a study of India´s energy sector and a roadmap towards affordable and sustainable energy; the intersection of disability and gender in the everyday struggles of women with disabilities in the city of Lahore in pakistan and questions pertaining to the protection of labour, tripartite mechanisms and management of industrial relations in colonial and early postcolonial India through the life trajectories of two important Labour Ministers.

The REVIEW ESSAYS rubric brings together four contributions, with each review unpacking relevant questions in diverse areas of research. These include- an essay on situating Northeast India as a region in historical and contemporary scholarship and its production as a place of remoteness and difference; imaginations and projections of the Muslim world in cinema and popular culture; the intersection of anthropology and law in developing a more user-centric understanding of the workings of legal frameworks and a review of historical and contemporary literature on the Rourkela Steel Plant in India through the lens of vocabularies of development, modernisation and industrialisation.

Herausgeber (v.i.S.d.P.)/editor: Prof. Dr. Michael Mann
Redaktionsteam/editorial board: Dr. Anandita Bajpai, Domenic Teipelke, Daniel Schulze
Gast-Herausgeberin FOKUS/guest-editor FOCUS: Dr. Jana Tschurenev

Recent Submissions