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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54577
Doc. No:TL24531
Call number:‭3165750‬
Main Entry:Alison Mackenzie Shah
Title & Author:Constructing a capital on the edge of empire: Urban patronage and politics in the Nizams' Hyderabad, 1750–1950Alison Mackenzie Shah
College:University of Pennsylvania
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:706
Abstract:This dissertation examines the development of an Indo-Islamic capital city in the age of colonialism. Between 1750 and 1950, Hyderabad served as the capital of the Asaf Jahs (known more popularly as the Nizams), a dynasty whose sovereignty was constrained by the pressures of British indirect rule. Hyderabad's urban identity centered on the Asaf Jahi landholding aristocracy and the patrimonial ruler, the Nizam, but the distinctness of this urban form also was derived from interactions with the establishment, growth, and decline of British power in South Asia. In this work, I examine how Hyderabad's patricians used the built environment to negotiate transitions from premodern institutions and patterns of organization to the modern ones that transformed urban and political life in South Asia. Using a broad set of interdisciplinary cultural materials from architecture, political ritual and photographs; to maps, records and urban lore in Persian, Urdu and English, I analyze the relationship between architecture's role in shaping social groups and its role in political performance. Six trends of urban patronage shaped Hyderabad's development. Patrons focused on institutions that successively ordered military campaigns, diplomacy, prayers and festivals, spiritual charisma, travel and hospitality, and governance and education. Each building category emphasized a new social organization. Each new social movement required the Nizams to ritually construct their power in terms of a markedly different collective identity. From military commanders to charismatic leaders and globetrotting aristocrats, the salience of these identities was tied to political innovations, but Hyderabadis consistently chose to build with styles that first developed in other times and places. The practices and visual forms that came to define Asaf Jahi culture in Hyderabad—including institutions such as shrines and mosques, rituals such as Muharram processions and nazr presentations, and hybrid styles of Islamic and European architectural design—show how cultural heritage is deployed strategically as part of processes of social and political change. In analyses of religious identity, urbanism, and the politics of heritage, this thesis provides a local examination of the construction and interaction of two supra-regional identities, Islamic and Imperial, and their engagement in the processes that shaped modernity.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Capital; Hyderabad; India; Islamic; Nizams; Patronage; Politics; Urban politics; History; Art history; 0332:History; 0377:Art history
Added Entry:D. Ludden
Added Entry:University of Pennsylvania