U N M A K I N G   T H E   N A T I O N

Pradeep Jeganathan & Qadri Ismail (eds.)


This now classic work provides challenging new ways of thinking about nationalism, colonialism and modernity, in Sri Lanka. Situated at the conceptual intersection of history and identity, the essays in the volume denaturalizes the claims of the nation, taking it apart  analytically, pointing to hidden relations of power and inequality that undergird it.



Also available in India, from flipkart.com


First published in Sri Lanka in 1995, as a sequel to Ethnicity and Social Change (1984) & Facets of Ethnicity (1988), this much cited collection has been out of print for years. It is now available in a new, global edition, published in May 2009, with a new preface and comprehensive index.

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...and as ebook on lulu.com!
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Chapters: • Dehistoricising History (David Scott) • Multireligion on the Bus: Beyond ‘Influence’ and ‘Syncretism’ in the Study of Religious Meetings (Jonathan S. Walters) • Unmooring Identity: The Antinomies of Elite Muslim Self-Representation in Modern Sri Lanka (Qadri Ismail) • Authorizing History, Ordering Land: The Conquest of Anuradhapura (Pradeep Jeganathan) • Gender, Politics and the Respectable Lady’ (Malathi de Alwis) • Gendering Tamil Nationalism: The Construction of ‘Woman’ in Projects of Protest and Control (Sitralega Maunaguru) • The Efficacy of ‘Combat Mode’: Organisation, Political Violence, Affect and Cognition in the Case of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (P. L. de Silva) • Narratives of Victimhood as Ethnic Identity Among the Veddasof the East Coast (Yuvi Thangarajah).

Praise for the 1st Edition:

 “...will be of great value to all those concerned
with... nationalism, violence and
adversarial historiography.”

Arjun Appadurai
John Dewy Professor in the Social Sciences,
New School University


“....forces us to think about Sri Lankan symbolic and social formations in an entirely novel fashion.” --Gananath Obeyesekere
Professor Emeritus in Anthropology, Princeton University


"Simulating... Excellent..."

--Journal of Asian Studies