Arondekar Diablog

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Arondekar's article Without A Trace seems to state that sexuality's historiography has turned to the colonial archive to find evidence about homosexuality in the Indian national archives. Furthermore, Arondekar states that "Holden rightly suggests, "find the latter part of the nineteenth century a period of radical historical discontinuity." The late nineteenth century is the period that marks the intensification of imperial domains, territorial redistributions, and the rise of nationalist movements." Arondekar also writes that the 19th century also the period when the relationship of sexuality to knowledge and power is articulated and differentiated by homosexuality emerging as a set of identifications.

When Arondekar writes "The new material on homosexuality does not purport simply to "correct" and/or reveal the truth about the history of sexuality in the colonial period. While there might be a certain evangelical flavor to some of the scholarship, most of the work indicates that the authors are keenly aware of the shifting parameters of space, time, and knowledge and of the role of the archive in such entanglements" I wonder if there are any other parameters to consider when dealing with archives. For example, could the archiver (person recording events/documents) also add some mystery or biased information in relation to the decade/time period?

Also, Arondekar writes that a scholar names Shah uses the "coming out materials of his contemporaries" to analyze and critically think about past archives."Shah advocates strategics of historical research that derive from a differentiated language of loss and discovery. Shah must rely on the coming-out materials of his contemporaries (classic models of the logic of the secret) to think critically about the archives of the past." While I think it's a wonderful idea to use contemporaries to try to analyze past archives I think it might be 100% efficient and accurate. Each period has a different way of doing things and a different way of thinking so trying to use something contemporary to analyze sexuality in colonial archives would be very difficult due to time, space, and knowledge parameters.

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I posted my comments about your response on the open thread. Hope that that's alright.

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