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Grant number like: FEL-273250-21

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Ananya Chakravarti
Georgetown University (Washington, DC 20057-0001)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2021 – 8/31/2022

The Konkan: Space, Mobility and Cultural Ecology on an Indian Ocean Coast, 1500-2019

Research and writing leading to a book on the history of Konkan (a coastal plain in western India), and the factors contributing to its regional identity. 

The Konkan coast, stretching from south of Mumbai to north Kerala, long bound South Asia to the Indian Ocean while remaining peripheral to its interior polities. Its geographic amorphousness reflects the political fragmentation of a coast drawn into the orbit of many local, regional and global polities. Konkan peoples travelled widely, while others arrived in waves upon its shores, their entangled histories embodied by communities like the Afro-Asian Siddis or Goan Catholics. Political fragmentation and mobility does not prevent the Konkan from cohering as a "region." Konkan histories of mobility, and cultural phenomena such as cults of deities of place and the Konkani language reflect a long-overlooked spatial and historical unity. Combining archival and ethnographic methods, I explore how regional cultural ecologies formed at the borders of global and local space in the early modern world and how these connections transformed and persisted into the contemporary moment.