Pious Labor: Islam, Artisanship, and Technology in Colonial India


Contents: 1. Lithographic labor : locating Muslim artisans in the print economy -- 2. Electroplating as alchemy : labor and technology among Muslim metalsmiths -- 3. Sewing with Idris : artisan knowledge and community history -- 4. Migrant carpenters, migrant Muslims : religious and technical knowledge in motion -- 5. The steam engine as a Muslim technology : boilermaking and artisan Islam -- 6. Building the modern mosque : stonemasonry as religion and labor.In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, working-class people across northern India found themselves negotiating rapid industrial change, emerging technologies, and class hierarchies. In response to these massive changes, Indian Muslim artisans began to publicly assert the deep relation between their religion and their labor, using the increasingly accessible popular press to redefine Islamic traditions "from below." Centering the stories and experiences of metalsmiths, stonemasons, tailors, press workers, and carpenters, Pious Labor tells the story of colonial-era social changes through the perspectives of the workers themselves. As Amanda Lanzillo shows, the colonial marginalization of these artisans is intimately linked with the continued exclusion of laboring voices today. By drawing on previously unstudied Urdu-language technical manuals and community histories, Lanzillo highlights not only the materiality of artisanal production but also the cultural agency of artisanal producers, filling in a major gap in South Asian history"-- Provided by publisher.Islamic Humanities series, University of California Press

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