Profile: Carol E. Henderson

Faculty Associate in Anthropology

Faculty
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

I study culture and power in South Asia.  Key to this focus is investigation of issues linked to landscape, memory, and discourse.   As a cultural anthropologist, most of my field research has been conducted in the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan state, India, while my concerns with history have widened this to include other spaces, in northern India and Central Asia.  I look to the representation of local voices, and differentiation within these, within the broader globalizing context of the colonial and post-colonial state. This also is regarded also not as monolithic, but as a diverse assemblage of competing interests, voices, and discourses.  Distinct settings include peasant agriculture, agropastoral adaptations, small-scale artisan production, tourism, and the growth of small towns in the rural

  • Education

    Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia, 1989

  • Publications

    Books

    2007    Raj Rhapsodies: Tourism, Heritage and the Seduction of History.  (co-edited with Maxine Weisgrau).   Aldershott, Hants, England: Ashgate Publishing Co.

    2002      Culture and Customs of India.   Greenwood Press, Westport, Ct.

    Articles

    In Press            "Spatial Memorializing of War in 1857:  Memories, Traces, and Silences in Ethnography." In Crispin Bates and Marina Carter, (eds),  New Directions [exact title TBA],  vol. I Papers of the Conference on "Mutiny at the Margins," Edinburgh, 23-26 July, 2007 (New Delhi: Sage).

    2007a   "Virtual Rajasthan: Making Heritage, Marketing Cyberorientalism?" In C. Henderson and M. Weisgrau, eds.,  Raj Rhapsodies.  (Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing Co. Pp. 61-81.

    2007b  "Introduction: Raj Rhapsodies, Tourism and Heritage in India," In C. In C. E.  Henderson and M. Weisgrau, eds.,  Raj Rhapsodies.  (Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing Co., pp. xxv-xlvi (with Maxine Weisgrau).

    2007c   "Composing the Raj Rhapsodies." In C. E.  Henderson and M. Weisgrau, eds.,  Raj Rhapsodies.  (Aldershot, Hampshire, England: Ashgate Publishing Co.), pp. 223-219. (with Maxine Weisgrau)

    1999    "Resource Use, Drought, and Desertification: Adaptive Strategies, the Community, and Economic Stratification." In Rakesh Hooja and Rajendra Joshi, eds., Desertification, Drought and Development: Studies in Resource Management and Sustainability.  Jaipur: Rawat Publishers, Pp. 120-132.

    1998    "The Great Cow Explosion in Rajasthan, India: Institutions, Landscape and Livestock in Historical Ecology Perspective."  In William Balée, ed., Advances in Historical Ecology.  New York: Columbia University Press.  Pp. 349-375. www.earthscape.org/r3/ES14449/balee_ch16.pdf

    1994    "Famines and Droughts in Arid Western Rajasthan: Desert Cultivators and the Problem of Periodic Resource Stress." In Karine Schomer, Joan Erdman and Deryck Lodrick, eds., The Idea of Rajasthan: Explorations in Regional Identity. Vol.  2, pp. 1-29. New Delhi: Manohar — American Institute of Indian Studies.

    1993    Grassroots Aspects of Agricultural Privatization in Kyrgyzstan. Central Asia Monitor No. 5:29-35.

    1992    What is a Sheep?  Cultural Concepts, Economic Realities. In Elizabeth Hansen, ed., Proceedings of the Annual Conference for Asian Studies.  Occasional Papers of the Virginia Consortium on Asian Studies, Arlington, VA. 9:688-707.

    1987    Famines, Droughts, and the ‘Norm’ in Arid Western Rajasthan: Desert Cultivators and the Problem of Periodic Resource Stress, In Barry Isaac, ed., Research in Economic Anthropology 9:251-280.

    Dissertation

    1989  Life in the Land of Death: Famine and Drought in Arid Western Rajasthan

    (Columbia University)

     

  • Research Initiatives

    My current research investigates extreme violence and the memories of the war of 1857, what Indians call their "First War Secundraof Independence," scholars call India's "Rebellion," and the popular Western imagination, the "Mutiny." Currently, I have an almost-complete manuscript that examines the different ways Indian anti-British protagonists conceived and enacted violence—seen as much as possible in their own words, and those of their British opponents.  The book project "Monstrous Cruelty:  Imaginaries of Extreme Violence in the Indian War of 1857"  examines the unfolding discourses and practices of violence as it unfolded in the "real time" of the war. I have tried in this to show the underlying cultural contexts of violence, the role of rumor and gaps in knowledge, as events and claims intersected to produce atrocities and non-normative violence during the war.   Second, I am investigating the memories of war atrocities and discourse about this in the post-war period,which tracks the distinct discourses of Indians and the British victors.