The current issue of Journal of History is being published in an electronic form. We regret the delayed appearance as a consequence of this transformation. This is a departure in the history of the journal and we will continue to follow a paperless, online route in the future.
The issue is devoted to articles on international and local history. Themes of environment, cultural representation, text and context, ruling dynasties, labour, forced migration and memory are explored. Kakoli Tah Datta traces the emergence of local ruling dynasties in Eastern India during the post-Gupta period. Christof Mauch offers a pioneering understanding of natural disasters in American history through cultural prisms. Gargi Chattopadhyay explores the relationship between raiders and riverine Bengal in the late medieval/early modern era. Rup Kumar Barman analyses the history of Malo fisherfolk in Bengal by interpreting the relationship between Adwaita Malla Barman’s classic Bengali novel (later turned into a classic film by Ritwik Ghatak), A river called Titas and its colonial context. Georgie Wemyss exposes the hidden struggles of ‘lascars’, made invisible through official and mainstream representations of British working-class history and memory. Chandan Basu treats the ideological crisis and questions of strategy which visited the communist movement in Bengal in the years immediately following Independence and Partition. Finally, a student paper by Anwesha Sengupta offers a reading of Rajnarayan Basu’s Se Kal Ar E Kal. Anindita Nag’s book review essay connects the past and the present of Palestinian women through the photographic lens.
We mourn Professor A. F. Salahuddin Ahmed (1924-2014), eminent historian from South Asia. We note with sadness the passing of stalwart historians of Modern India. Tapan Raychaudhuri (1926-2014) and Bipan Chandra (1928-2014) will be missed by students of history and in the wider field of social sciences. Professor Amalendu Dey (1926-2014), as the former Guru Nanak Chair of Indian History of our department, will be remembered by us as path-breaking historian of Colonial Bengal, teacher, colleague and indefatigable humanist.
We are grateful for the assistance we received from all faculty members of the Department of History. Dr. Tilottama Mukherjee’s cover design has, once again, rendered the issue with elegance. The anonymous referees helped this volume with their insight. Finally, we wish to thank the proof-reader and e-printers for preparing and posting this journal.
Rup Kumar Barman