This eclectic collection of essays is embedded in both the past and present of the region's complex interface with modernity. It is pertinent to note that despite the postmodernist critiques of the abstract notion of the term modern, modernity continues to be relevant for an understanding of contemporary social processes. Apart from theoretical debates, 'modernity' as a process and value system as well as a contrast to 'tradition' offers multiple interpretative possibilities which are deeply manifested in the everyday experience of the self and community. While acknowledging both enchantment and disenchantment with modernity, this volume explores the opportunities, contingencies and contestations of the process. Spatializing modernity, therefore, takes the concept to the arena of experience and practice, thereby bringing it closer to the script of the everyday: the contradictory and at times polemical positioning of access and denial, institutional and individual, urban and rural, trader/moneylender and peasant/zamindar, Jat and Dalit (in context of landownership and access to wealth), and erotic/gender (urban) and ideal (rural). These and other similar themes involve self-positioning and Othering. Modern, modernity and modernization are, therefore, competing, contradictory and overlapping concepts that get situated around the narratives of power, prestige, entitlement and access.
Yogesh Snehi teaches history at the School of Liberal Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) and has been a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (2013-15). Through a Tasveer Ghar fellowship, he has created a digital repository of images that are in circulation at popular Sufi shrines in Punjab. His major teaching and research interests focus on regions and in situating popular veneration. Snehi's monograph 'Spatializing Popular Sufi Shrines in Punjab: Dreams, Memories, Territoriality' is forthcoming from Routledge.
Lallan S. Baghel teaches philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Panjab University, Chandigarh. His teaching and research focus on aspects of social and political philosophy; philosophy of human rights, philosophical foundations of feminist discourses, environmental philosophy, critical theory and applied ethics. Baghel has contributed numerous papers to various national and international publications.