Professor Kesavan Veluthat, in a significant departure from the existing scholarship, represented by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, T.V. Mahalingam, and Elamkulam P.N. Kunjan Pillai, explored aspects of historical transition, political structures, settlement patterns, agrarian relations, religion, and ideology in early medieval Tamil Nadu and Kerala, thus changing the terms of the debate and reconstructing the study of South Indian history in ways that are irreversible. His more recent studies in the literary and intellectual traditions of Kerala have, by their ingenuity and provocativeness, overturned long accepted historiographical positions.
Clio and Her Descendants is a collection of essays dedicated to honour Veluthat's scholarship, and brings together the work of thirty historians who look to expand the horizons of South Asia's diverse and polyphonic past. The variety of themes, concerns, and methodologies that these essays explore, not only capture the vibrancy of the historiography of the present, but also offer invaluable signposts for future research. This volume is essential reading for any student of South Asian history and will remain so for years to come.
Manu V. Devadevan is Assistant Professor of History at the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. He specializes in the political economy of precolonial South India, but is also interested in the history of literary, religious, and intellectual traditions of the Indian subcontinent. His publications include A Prehistory of Hinduism (2016) and The 'Early Medieval' Origins of India (forthcoming) in English, and Prithviyallodagida Ghatavu: Karnatakada Ninnegalu (2009) and Sankhakshetrada Kannu: Puri Sri Jagannatha Devalayada Itihasa (2017) in Kannada.