Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorWise, Patricia
dc.contributor.advisorBaker, Sarah
dc.contributor.authorBhattacharya, Diti
dc.date.accessioned2019-05-15T01:30:04Z
dc.date.available2019-05-15T01:30:04Z
dc.date.issued2018-12
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10072/384286
dc.description.abstractThis thesis explores the unfolding spatial movements of the second-hand book market, or the boipara, of College Street, Calcutta. Weaving together my own experiences and memories with those of stallholders, customers, students and other regulars, I focus on various material, affective, sensory, human and non-human interactions to reveal the boipara as mobile, fluid and heterogeneous in its dynamics. I draw, especially, on the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Doreen Massey, Ben Highmore, Ben Anderson, Mark Bonta and John Protevi, and Nigel Thrift to engage with multiple trajectories and narratives, using what can be termed ‘assemblage thinking’ as a conceptual tool. In addition to engaging with scholarly literature from a variety of multidisciplinary terrains, I undertook fieldwork in Calcutta. My research methods for that part of the work included observational research, semi-structured interviews (which, as I had hoped, usually became conversations) and photo-elicitation. I set out to see how space can be understood, reconceptualised and written about in terms of its processes, movements and simultaneities, as well as how such an approach can be productive in making sense of a particular space and its connections. My personal association with the boipara was established at a very young age, and I later became a regular – which is the vernacular expression in English for those who would be called in Bengali para’r lok, or ‘people of the neighbourhood’. I wanted to enquire how far and in what ways my memories and experiential knowledge engaged with the memories and experiential knowledges of other regulars, and how the continual enmeshing of stories, experiences, histories and anecdotes affected and informed the methodological and conceptual processes I developed for this project. Consequently, I have kept the conversations between theorists, concepts, methods and practice-based research open and symbiotic. The fact that I was working with a space that is always facilitating the intersection of multiple narratives meant that I was alert to the need for ongoing reflexivity. This, in turn, led me to enquire how we can think and write about spaces like the boipara and, indeed, how we can think about writing spaces. The College Street boipara (literally ‘neighbourhood of books’) comprises a variety of book stalls, book shops, several eminent educational institutions, a coffee house, teastalls, eateries and various colonial style residential buildings. It is a fine example of how human and material components come together in an urban public space and thrive through their interaction, producing myriad affective resonances, sensorial registers, memories of the different ways in which the space has been used. It is a place where personal histories and the stories associated with material components continuously intersect with certain historical, cultural and political practices that are strongly associated with it. The boipara, with its component parts, is always heterogeneous, mobile, relational and ‘under construction’ (Massey 2005). I suggest that the everyday unfolding of the spatiality of the boipara can be usefully thought of as an event (Deleuze and Guattari 1977). The movements of the boipara are characterised by change, movement, oscillations and volatility. Through its apparently mundane, repetitive, daily routines and interactions, the space produces newer, heterogeneous, mobile and liminal experiences and stories which do not replace the older ones, but work with them to carry the spatial imaginary along various trajectories. Thus, the affective, sensorial and emotional associations we make are characterised by a fleeting in-betweenness, momentary intersections of ‘the stories-so-far’ (Massey 2005) with the anticipation of what is possible in the future. This is what makes the boipara particularly eventful. The thesis argues for an open, reflexive and nuanced approach to thinking about space that is not limited to or by the application of conceptual frameworks and the clean representations that such approaches tend to produce. Writing about a space like the boipara can be productive of useful insights if the writing itself is deployed as something other than simply a medium of representation. An important aspect of my work has been the realisation that the writing of this dissertation has itself become a significant process in my engagement with the spatiality of the boipara. Writing in, through and about such a space can (perhaps must) be treated as an experiment that works with the space: with its messy temporalities, multiple trajectories, heterogeneous components and criss-crossing flows and strata of histories, myths and memories. The boipara involves ongoing emergences from the milieu (here, the middle, the in-between) of material, sensory and narrative elements. This, in turn, can impel a sense of the coming together of segments of space-time (as collisions, occasional contacts or flows) which can produce vectors that take off in all kinds of directions; have the potential to produce different speeds and intensities; and are likely to become implicated in the rhizomics of the boipara, which will probably be part of the assemblages that constitute it. The intensities and vectors of transformation that generate within those assemblages can readily form other connections beyond the boipara, but also return to it.en_US
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherGriffith University
dc.publisher.placeBrisbane
dc.subject.keywordsBoiparaen_US
dc.subject.keywordsCalcuttaen_US
dc.subject.keywordsAssemblage thinkingen_US
dc.subject.keywordsNeighbourhood of booksen_US
dc.subject.keywordsCultural and political practicesen_US
dc.titleUnfolding the College Street boipara: spatial movements in Calcutta's neighbourhood of booksen_US
dc.typeGriffith thesisen_US
gro.facultyArts, Education and Lawen_US
gro.rights.copyrightThe author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.
gro.hasfulltextFull Text
gro.thesis.degreelevelThesis (PhD Doctorate)en_US
gro.thesis.degreeprogramDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)en_US
gro.departmentSchool of Hum, Lang & Soc Scen_US
gro.griffith.authorBhattacharya, Diti


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record