August is the time when anyone who has any interest in the history, politics, and society of South Asia will be talking, tweeting, and sharing about the time of Partition/Independence. Here in the UK, I have noticed how much discussion about Partition has entered the public discourse, whether it is TV, radio, newspapers etc. In this essay, recently published in The Oral History Review, I have attempted to show how the historiography of Partition has developed, especially over the past twenty-five years. It is an attempt to contextualise and understand how this field of Partition Studies has evolved and what role technology, new forms of social media and the South Asian diaspora, have played in taking this field into new directions. I was keen to highlight the disparities, and structural inequalities that have been produced and strengthened in this process, despite appearances to the contrary.
As a side-note and not completely unrelated to the article, access to information/knowledge must not be taken for granted as there are institutional and economic barriers, which prevent a level-playing field. This article is NOT open access because 1) my post-92 university in the UK does not subscribe to the costly Gold Open Access scheme, and 2) the article was not written with the support of any UKRI research grant. It means that my article will remain behind a paywall, unless an institution subscribes to the journal. Again, many institutions are now cutting back to save money (esp. post-92 universities) and so subscriptions to costly academic journals are often subject to scrutiny of disciplinary demands and budgetary considerations. It is likely that this article will only reach a limited number of people compared with any open access article, thus the readership, citations and engagement will remain confined.
If you have institutional access that’s great, if you don’t and you are interested in reading the full article, please feel free to contact me.