Title The Archive of Loss
Subtitle Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai
Author Maura Finkelstein
ISBN 9781478003984
List price GBP 20.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 264
Book size 153 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher Duke University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“A wonderful critique of deindustrialization, archives, and the afterlives of the great mills of Mumbai, this book is a timely contribution to thinking on temporality, loss, space, and affective entanglements within rapidly changing cities across South Asia. Maura Finkelstein seeks nothing less than to reveal how ideas and spaces are translated into places. This thoughtful view of a key site of Mumbai’s ongoing transformations is essential reading for scholars of the city in uncertain times.”

Svati P. Shah, author of Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work, and Migration in the City of Mumbai


“In this beautifully written and rich ethnography, Maura Finkelstein demonstrates that the dynamics contributing to industrial job loss crosscut regions, countries, and cities. Her book offers highly compelling theoretical insights on memory, embodiment, and urban space and will lead to a much-needed rethinking of deindustrialization itself.”

Christine J. Walley, author of Exit Zero: Family and Class in Postindustrial Chicago


Mumbai’s textile industry is commonly but incorrectly understood to be an extinct relic of the past. In The Archive of Loss Maura Finkelstein examines what it means for textile mill workers—who are assumed not to exist—to live and work during a period of deindustrialization. Finkelstein shows how mills are ethnographic archives of the city where documents, artifacts, and stories exist in the buildings and in the bodies of workers. Workers’ pain, illnesses, injuries, and exhaustion narrate industrial decline; the ways in which they live in tenements exist outside and resist the values expounded by modernity; and the rumors and untruths they share about textile worker strikes and a mill fire help them make sense of the industry’s survival. In outlining this archive’s contents, Finkelstein shows how mills, which she conceptualizes as lively ruins, become a lens through which to challenge, reimagine, and alter ways of thinking about the past, present, and future in Mumbai and beyond.



A Note on Intimate Geographies

Introduction: The Archive of Industrial Debris

Chapter 1. The Archive of the Mill

Chapter 2. The Archive of the Worker

Chapter 3. The Archive of the Chawl

Chapter 4. The Archive of the Strike

Chapter 5. The Archive of the Fire

Epilogue: The Archive of Futures Lost




About the Author:

Maura Finkelstein is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Muhlenberg College.

Target Audience:

People interested in anthropology, South Asian studies, sociology, urban studies and textile industry of India.



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