Ontologies of Relational Space in South Asia

  • Venugopal Maddipati (Author)

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Relational space is an entity that does not exist on its own. While space, conventionally understood, is an a-priori condition for the existence of entities, “relational space” is nothing unto itself prior to the exchanges between its constituents. Its contours and outlines are contingent upon the particular ways in which communities and materialities enter into relation. In other words, relationships have causal efficacy. But what distinguishes “relational space” as a category in the South Asian context? How are spaces in the subcontinent transformed by the emergence of new relationships or antagonisms between social groups that collectivize or self-identify along the lines of ethnicity, class, caste, language and religion? Why are particular spatial forms sometimes reified by the emergence of the very relationships that they are expected to discourage? Our special issue is an attempt at answering some of these questions.




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