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ERC Consolidator Grant for Dr. Nitin Sinha

10.12.2019

Amongst three other researchers and scientists from the Leibniz Association, Senior Research Fellow Nitin Sinha received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council for his project TIMEHIST - Timely Histories: A Social History of Time in South Asia.

Sinha's project aims to write the history of time and temporal cultures in South Asia between the 1500s and the 1950s on a practice- and process-based history. Covering this broad timespan under five modular units, the objective is to investigate and write the graded pasts of shifts and transformations within them. In doing so, it departs from the usual approaches that focus either on the device (clock) or on the modern nation-state institutions such as army, school, factory, and office. Instead, while going beyond device-centrism, it puts ‘othered’ spaces of temporal practices such as field, farm, jungle, and river in the centre of the time’s history.

The project’s novelty is in the combined strength of transcending the widely applied frameworks across regions as well as in opening new fields of inquiry for South Asia. By generating rich empirical works, guided by interdisciplinary theoretical approaches, five clearly laid-out units will achieve this.

Temporal modernity, the project hypothesises, emerged from the existing temporal cultures rather than supplant them. Through its bold yet feasible scope, TIMEHIST proposes to establish temporality as an independent analytical category in studies on spatiality, colonialism, and social history.