- Miss Kanupriya Dhingra
- Email address:
- Thesis title:
- Daryaganj's Parallel Book History
- Year of Study:
This study engages with Daryaganj Sunday Patri Kitab Bazar as a parallel location for books. It is a local weekly informal market for used books, that has been operating on the streets of Old Delhi, on every Sunday, for the past five decades. Locating the book bazar on the streets revolves around the experience of selling and buying books, an experience that is, beyond its commercial connotations, also a sensory one, partly because of the space in which it occurs. An indefinite ratio of chance and order combined actualises the book-selling and book-buying experience in the Patri Kitab Bazar into something that is different than how we understand the “proper” publishing and circulation of books. Based on the ethnography and interviews conducted in the market space between June 2019 and February 2020, I will examine: (a) the procurement, arrangement, and circulation of books in this market; (b) its various participants, their encounters with each other and books; and, (c) its incidental location, dislocation, and eventual relocation.
My research at SOAS is supported by Felix Scholarship Trust. During the period of my fieldwork at the bazar, I presented parts from my research in Delhi University (Delhi), Ambedkar University (Delhi), and Jadavpur University (Calcutta). I have also published essays on my current research on platforms such as Himal SouthAsian, The Caravan Magazine, The Frontline (The Hindu), and Scroll.in.
Articles/ Long Essays
• “The death of a book bazar” in Himal SouthAsian, 5 February 2020.
• Essays on Daryaganj Book Bazaar in Scroll.in between August and September 2019.
• Essay on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the booksellers of Daryaganj in Scroll.in, in July 2020
• “Streets of Desire: Old Delhi’s subversive Love Letter Manuals” in The Caravan, November 2017.
Invited for talks on my doctoral research titled “Daryaganj’s Parallel Book History” between September 2019 and February 2020, by the following departments and institutions:
• School of Letters, Ambedkar University, Delhi on 6 September 2019.
• Kamla Nehru College, University of Delhi on 23 October 2019.
• Jadavpur University, Kolkata on 5 February 2020.
• Invited for a lecture titled “Evolution of a Book Bazaar” by the Department of History, Ambedkar University, Delhi, on 24 January 2020.
• Interviewed by Frontline, The Hindu, for their story on Daryaganj Book Market, 21 August 2019.
• Featured in an International Travel Media Channel, Asia Featured, for my doctoral research on Daryaganj Sunday Book Market.