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Many persons have been of assistance to me in the course of my research and writing. First, I would like to thank the granting institutions that made my research possible. Foreign Language Area Studies scholarships provided me with opportunities to study Hindi, both before and after my fieldwork, at the University of Michigan, the University of California, Berkeley, the American Institute of Indian Studies Hindi Program, and the University of Chicago. Financial support from the University of Michigan International Institute, the University of California Berkeley Professional Program in India, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan enabled me to conduct research in India for about twenty months between September 1994 and March 1997. The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Herman Dunlop Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library, and a University of Michigan Dean's Candidacy Fellowship provided additional support. A Gutenberg-e Award from the American Historical Association enabled me to do two more months of research in India during the summer of 2000, and provided generous financial support during the writing of this book. Professor Robert Darnton provided excellent guidance on writing an electronic book in the field of history. The direction given by my editor, Kate Wittenberg, along with the staff of epic, has been invaluable in the formation of this book. I also gratefully thank the staffs of the India Office Library (now part of the British Museum and Library), the National Archives of India, the West Bengal State Archives, the National Library of India, and the many public libraries and reading rooms for their assistance to me.

This book started out as a doctoral dissertation in the interdepartmental program in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan. Nicholas B. Dirks, Thomas R. Trautmann, Fred Cooper, and Sumathi Ramaswamy provided direction, support, and guidance as I developed my ideas. Other scholars that gave me useful guidance during this time include James Ackerman, Dipesh Chakrabarty, David William Cohen, Juan Cole, David Frye, Peter Hook, David Ludden, C. M. Naim, Gyan Pandey, Roger Rouse, Lee Schlesinger, Clint Seeley, Dina Siddiqi, Tahsin Siddiqi, Ann Laura Stoler, Lynn Thomas, Luise White, and Eleanor Zelliot. Leola Brennan, secretary of the University of Michigan Anthro-History Program until her retirement in 1998, deserves thanks for the administrative help she provided to me over the years.

Many people in India offered friendship, advice, and guidance in my research. I would like to especially thank the dozens of Marwari families in Calcutta and Delhi who opened their offices, shops, and homes to me, and were willing to share the sometimes very personal details of their lives. I am grateful to all the people who took time out of their busy days to participate in formal interviews and informal conversations, and who gave me a window on their perspectives about Indian, Calcuttan, and Marwari society. As is standard in anthropological research, however, one's so-called "informants" must remain anonymous, to protect their privacy. But, as is the convention in history writing, I have included names of and details about well-known people, whose accomplishments are part of the public record.

Professor Gautam Bhadra of the Centre for Studies in Social Science in Calcutta served as my unofficial research supervisor during my fieldwork and has been both an intellectual guide and a friend. His intellectual accomplishments and intricate knowledge of Indian history, combined with his remarkable generosity and patience as a teacher, have helped me immeasurably in my work. In addition, I would like to thank the many people who offered help to me during my fieldwork, including Sapna Bhattacharya, Pallabi Biswas, Mr. and Mrs. Rishi Jaimini Kaushik Barua, Debi Basu, Hena Basu, Mundira Bhandury, K. P. Bose, Bashona and the late Dwijesh Chakrabarty, Soumya Chakrabarty, Susanta Chakrabarty, Shilu Chattopadhyay, Pratima Dutta, Katia Fairbanks, Anjan Ghosh, Sweta Ghosh, Susanta Ghosh, Omkar Goswamy, Saroj Kaushik, Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay, P. T. Nair, Debashish Nayak, Alka Saraogi, Ashok Seksaria, P.C. and Mridula Seth, Sushila Singhi, Sutapa Dhar, Chandralekha Ghosh, Rajat Kanta Roy, Sulagna Roy, Aditi Sen, Laxmi Subramaniam, Silu Thakur, and the Ladies Wing of the All India Marwari Federation. My research in Calcutta was greatly enhanced by the friendship of other AIIS fellows: I would especially like to mention Sheila Dutta, Gerry Forbes, and Jason Fuller.


The work of writing was made all the more pleasant by colleagues and friends in Chicago, Iowa City, and San Antonio, places I lived when writing my thesis and then this book. My work on issues of identity and difference in Calcutta was deeply shaped by conversations I shared with Dipesh Chakrabarty, whose intellectual and personal engagement in the familial and affective lifeworlds of middle-class Bengali society gave me valuable insight into Bengali and Indian society. In addition, Eliza Kent, Caitrin Lynch, Matthew Hull, Nicole Ranganath, and Laura Ring each gave apt and useful comments. Colleagues and friends in Iowa, where I was a visiting professor in the history department at the University of Iowa during 1999-2000, made for an exceptionally pleasant academic work environment, and I would like to express my warm appreciation to Jenny Anger, Gautam Ghosh, Paul Greenough, Elizabeth Heineman, Tal Lewis, Linda Kerber, Philip Lutgendorf, Catherine Rymph, Johanna Schoen, Despina Stratigakos, and especially Jael Silliman. Carolyn B. Brown generously provided expert advice on rewriting. Many friends at UTSA and in San Antonio have offered friendship and intellectual support, and I would especially like to mention Antonio Calabria, Brian and Paula Davies, Daniel Engster, Kirsten Gardner, Harvey Graff, Patrick Kelly, Juliet Langman, Jon Lee, David Libby, Vicki Mayer, Laura Mitchell, and Wing Chung Ng. UTSA graduate students Carlos Acosta, Dennis Fisher, and F. Michael Rollins provided helpful research assistance.

A close group of friends and family has provided stimulation and support, reminding me of the world beyond academia. Becky, Melinda, Sherri, the Croones, Gaelyn, Laura, Eric, Sue, Kate, Anne, Ellen, Lynne, and Bernstein all deserve mention for providing pleasant distractions from my writing. My family has been a powerful source of encouragement and support. My parents George and Gretchen Hardgrove, and my brother, George W., have always encouraged me in my academic work. My parents even made the long journey to visit me in Calcutta, happy to escape the winter and eager to find out what kept their daughter away in India for so long.

My only regret is that my grandmother, Mildred Tangen Grosenick, did not live to see this electronic book come to fruition. She died on January 1, 2001. I do not believe that she ever worked on a computer or looked at websites on the Internet, let alone read a book on-line, but I think that she would have been pleased to see it. I often thought of my grandmother while I was far away during my fieldwork, especially while interviewing Indian women of about the same age. I have wondered how she might answer similar questions about kinship, lineage, and community, and what it meant to be Norwegian in Minnesota. I dedicate this book to her memory.

Versions of selected chapters appear elsewhere, published as separate articles and a forthcoming book chapter. Chapter 3 appears as an article "Merchant Houses as Spectacles of Modernity in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu." Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 36 No 1. forthcoming, 2002; and will be reprinted in Sumathi Ramaswami, ed. Beyond Appearances? Visual Practices and Ideologies in Modern India. New Delhi: Sage, forthcoming 2002. A portion of Chapter 5 appeared as Anne Hardgrove, "Hindi Literature as a Political Space: Marwari Women's Fiction in Calcutta," Economic and Political Weekly (April 3, 1999): 804-806. Chapter 6 appeared as Anne Hardgrove "Sati Worship and Marwari Public Identity in India," Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 58, No. 3 (August 1999), pp 732-752, and is being reprinted with permission of the Association for Asian Studies.

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos were taken by the author.


Community and Public Culture: The Marwaris in Calcutta 1897-1997