Accepted Paper:

Imaginative acts and the Kolkata elite  
Kerstin B Andersson (UHR, Swedish Council of Higher Education)

Paper short abstract:

Examining some historical cases this paper will discuss the imaginative acts and practices used by elite groups in Kolkata in times of crisis, change and transformation.

Paper long abstract:

Examining some historical cases this paper will discuss the imaginative acts used by elite groups in Kolkata in times of crisis, change and transformation. The Kolkata intellectuals have played a key role in social, political and cultural processes in Bengal and they have been exposed to recurrent and significant events, social conflicts formed in historical processes, external forces and micro-processes of social existence, turning the social arena into a contested terrain of meaning. The responses to those events have been various and dispersed. The imaginative acts and practices, formed in symbiosis with diverse forces, include dynamic and plural forms. Particular events take different expressions at specific points in time and space, producing different meanings and rich ambiguities. I will suggest that the imaginative acts used by the Kolkata intellectuals might be described as a rhizomic dynamic, "series of discontinuous potentials whose direction and speed vary unpredictably from moment to moment".

Panel W079
Elite groups, crisis and imagination