Shrapnel Minima

Writings from Humanities Underground

Edited by Prasanta Chakravarty


6 x 9 inches, 400pp. March 2015

ISBN : 9780857421876

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This is an anthology of and for the minimal and the perilous, an eclectic compendium of essays, fiction, poetry and discussions for the serious lay reader, reaching deep into and far out of the humanities. It celebrates at once the spirit of shared reverie and committed engagement, of cooperative communion and overwrought tussling with contemporary contentions that trouble our world, as seen through the spreading universe of the humanities. This anthology brings together select pieces from the cult internet magazine HumanitiesUnderground that is crowded with such diverse issues as aesthetics and artistic craft, ethics and criticism, movements and institutions, ideologies and reflections. Working at the cusp of the artistic and the political, the anthology argues that since our concerns for artwork and philosophy must be mediated through material conditions of possibility—the broad political, social and economic conditions that birth them—our writing and our reading must be attentive to the intricacies of these relationships rather than be idealistic or prematurely righteous and proscriptive.


Shrapnel Minima captures the powerful possibilities of the nominal and the essential, in shaping cooperative contraventions in the capacious sweep of the humanities in contemporary South Asia. Contributors include such names as Jairus Banaji, Supriya Chaudhuri, Geeta Patel, Moinak Biswas, Brinda Bose, Amlan Dasgupta, Arunava Sinha, Sunit Singh, Pothik Ghosh, Santanu Das and Varuni Bhatia.


Prasanta Chakravarty works at the cusp of literature and political philosophy. His principal research interest lies in heterodox political and religious writings/movements of early modern Europe where he explores the connections between the hermeneutical-interpretive traditions of literature, especially those encountered in heterodox pamphlets and treatises and the public political nature of those writings. Like Parchment in the Fire: Literature and Radicalism in the English Civil War (Routledge, New York and London, 2006) investigates these interests. Currently, he is working on Thomas Hobbes’ religious motivations. Prasanta is also deeply invested in contemporary debates on humanities studies globally and in South Asia. He is the co-founder of MargHumanities and Associate Professor of English at the University of Delhi.


Literary Criticism
200 Years of Marx
South Asian Studies