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Sivramkrishna, S. (2022). retracing buchanan’s journey through madras, mysore, canara and malabar  . On BIC Events [Youtube]. Bangalore: Bangalore International Centre. 
Added by: Prashanth NS (5/18/22, 2:24 PM)   Last edited by: Prashanth NS (5/27/22, 6:50 PM)
Resource type: Audiovisual
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Sivramkrishna2022
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Categories: Health
Keywords: Francis Buchanan
Creators: Sivramkrishna
Publisher: Bangalore International Centre (Bangalore)
Views: 47/307
There is no better way to describe Buchanan’s Journey in 1800 than reproducing the title of his book – A Journey from Madras Through the Countries of Mysore, Canara, And Malabar, for the Express Purpose of Investigating the State of Agriculture, Arts, and Commerce; the Religion, Manners, and Customs; the History Natural and Civil, and Antiquities.

It is almost two decades now that our speaker began retracing Francis Buchanan’s Journey.  Although I am far from having completed the entire route, the experience so far has been fascinating, persuading him to study history in ways that he might have otherwise missed.  In this proposed lecture, the speaker will share some of his experiences and learning accompanied with photographs and short clips from his documentary films on the following subjects:

  1. The breakthrough Buchanan’s Journey gave when trying to “solve” the mystery of the “Curse of Talakad”.
  2. The amazing wealth of information in the Journey that one was able to utilize to measure agricultural productivity and standards of living in erstwhile Mysore at the cusp of colonialism.  This work became an important contribution to the Great Divergence debate.
  3. Explorations on iron and steel smelting that the reviewer for the Economic & Political Weekly termed as “revisionist environmental history”.
  4. Finding the coarse blanket weavers of Tumkur district who continue to manufacture blankets in quite the same way that Buchanan described. The speaker’s documentary film, “A Looming Past” was screened at several international festivals across the world.
  5. Recording the remnants of the “Pillai Chatram” that is unfortunately falling apart and one can only hope that it might be restored.
  6. Reconstructing the environmental history of pre-cantonment Bangalore.
  7. The fascination with mundane history triggered by Buchanan’s Journey.

Given that Buchanan did pass through several parts of Mysore and Chamarajanagar and briefly describes his interactions with several Solega, the wider context of his travels provided by the talk may be relevant for anyone working on this area. 
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