© 2017

Imagining Indianness

Cultural Identity and Literature

  • Diana Dimitrova
  • Thomas de Bruijn

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology book series (PSLA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Indianness, Literature and Culture: A Critical Perspective

  3. Indian Cultural Identity and the Crisis of Modernity: Reworking of Myth and Tradition

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 163-166

About this book


This book brings together several important essays examining the interface between identity, culture, and literature within the issue of cultural identity in South Asian literature. The book explores how one imagines national identity and how this concept is revealed in the narratives of the nation and the production of various cultural discourses. The collection of essays examines questions related to the interpretation of the Indian past and present, the meanings of ancient and venerated cultural symbols in ancient times and modern, while discussing the ideological implications of the interpretation of identity and “Indianness” and how they reflect and influence the power-structures of contemporary societies in South Asia. Thus, the book studies the various aspects of the on-going process of constructing, imagining, re-imagining, and narrating “Indianness”, as revealed in the literatures and cultures of India.


Cultural Identity South Asian Literature Indian Culture National Identity Post-colonial Theories

Editors and affiliations

  • Diana Dimitrova
    • 1
  • Thomas de Bruijn
    • 2
  1. 1.MontrealCanada
  2. 2.LeidenThe Netherlands

About the editors

Diana Dimitrova is Professor of Hinduism and South Asian Religions at the University of Montreal, Canada. She is the author of Western Tradition and Naturalistic Hindi Theatre (2004), Gender, Religion, and Modern Hindi Drama (2008), and Hinduism and Hindi Theater (2016). She is the editor of Religion in Literature and Film in South Asia (2010) and The Other in South Asian Religion, Literature and Film: Perspectives on Otherism and Otherness (2014).

Thomas de Bruijn is an independent scholar and author of Ruby in the Dust: History and Poetry in Padmāvat by the South Asian Sufi Poet Muḥammad Jāyasī (2012) and co-editor of Circulation of Culture: Literature in Motion in Early Modern India (2014).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Imagining Indianness
  • Book Subtitle Cultural Identity and Literature
  • Editors Diana Dimitrova
    Thomas de Bruijn
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Literary Anthropology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-41014-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-82241-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-41015-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 166
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Anthropology
    Asian Culture
    Asian Literature
    Cultural Anthropology
    Cultural Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This edited collection by Diana Dimitrova and Thomas de Bruijn is an important addition to the field since it brings debates and ideas of ‘Indianness’ … . Importantly, Imagining Indianness: Cultural Identity and Literature is a timely publication as once again, we are called to consider more recent, post-millennial literary and cultural production and its interface with an ever-changing sense of ‘Indianness.’” (E. Dawson Varughese, Asiatic, Vol. 11 (2), 2017)