This section of the book follows Sanjay Subrahmanyam in reflecting on periodisation as a problem of investigation not just about but in the past. It shows how different actors at different times developed and contested their specific ways of conceiving time or, put differently, how they form and formulate their individual chronologics and advocates, with Özen N. Dolcerocca, an awareness of the internal logics of periodisations.
Following Heather Ferguson, these essays argue that conflicting logics of revelation and history, sacral and human, the anecdote and the global, born out of shifting sociospatial identities, in turn shape different types of chronotropes. Investigating these, including variant projects of meaning-making that construct or reinforce particular power formations through the manipulation of time, we can avoid both oppositional and exclusionary discourses of “other” times and histories. Instead of simply assuming that Jack Goody’s “theft of history” is a given, then, this section makes visible the often heated negotiations accompanying attempts to define time in relation and otherwise.
The authors in this section thus consider emblematic moments and their historicized narration in relation: zooming in and out on specific chronotopes and chronoscales—from planetary world to nation to minority (religious) group; considering different chronotopes and chronoscapes (their technologies of power)—in Europe, the middle East and India; and how they recount emblematic moments and their epochal force in terms of given chronotropes and/or (Euro)chronologies. The individual essays bring in a variety of sources, from school textbooks to literature, to journalistic, historical and religious writings, encyclopedias and universal histories.