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Arindam Dutta, “Deltas & Deities: Landscapes of Debt”

Dhar India Studies Program Spring Lecture Series

Thursday, February 28, 2013, 5:00pm

India House, 825 E. 8th St.

Spring Lecture Series:

“Deltas & Deities: Landscapes of Debt”

Arindam Dutta
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Thursday, 28th February
5:00 – 6:30 pm
India House, 825 E. 8th St.

Dutta focusses on two kinds of structures that he argues must be seen as institutionally cognate but ideologically different: the garden follies of the picturesque movement in Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the efflorescence of small temples and mosques in the Zamindari Bagan-baris in Bengal in the same period. The talk situates these gardens and estates in relationship to the expansion of debt – sovereign debt – in Britain, establishing as its dual corollaries the rising power of Parliament in that country on the one hand, and the heightened directive of “settling” revenue structures in Bengal on the other. The talk argues that archaic or non-modern forms of obligation such as those imposed by theological movements are essential to securing modern forms of debt, i.e. capitalist debt. The talk presents an architectural survey of these structures, assembled over extensive field-trips to the Atlantic seaboard, the British Isles, and both Bengals, seen against the entangled background of religion and capital and their interactions across the globe.

The Dhar India Studies Program’s Spring 2013 Lecture Series events are free, and open to the public.

India House is located at 825 E. 8th Street (corner of 8th and Woodlawn).

For more information: contact us at india@indiana.edu or 812.855.5798