Paraspar webinar by  Janaki Nair @ 4pm

Paraspar, an initiative of the Office of Communications (OoC) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), is a platform for conversations about knowledge systems, particularly science.


Invites you to a webinar series on

Reading the Past

Understanding the past often leads us to interpret why and how the present has evolved. This series will explore the historical underpinnings that have shaped the various facets of the modern world.

The ‘Monarchical Modern’ in the Making of Mysore City (Poster)

Abstract: The city of Mysore acquired the ‘depth of historical distance’ only in the 20th century when it became the site of an experiment in ornamentalism. Its unique status arose from the fact that it was divested of all administrative functions save that of the palace establishment, since the army moved from Srirangapatna to Bangalore in 1809, and the government of Mysore State from Mysore city. In short, the pursuit of ornamentalism as a legitimate Palace rationale could be more freely pursued,  though less through the exertion of sovereign authority and more through an assemblage of diverse forces, techniques, and devices more properly associated with, or at least resembling, ‘governmentality’. It was, therefore, among the first cities in India to have a City Improvement Trust (in 1903, a few years after the Bombay Improvement Trust was set up in 1898), predating even Bangalore by several decades. An investigation of the work of the Mysore City Improvement Trust in its negotiations with the municipality on the one hand and the Palace establishment on the other could yield a third model from those proposed by either Patrick Joyce (for cities in England) or  Partha Chatterjee (for colonial Indian cities). It will foreground the ‘monarchical’ as a specific form of power which was deployed in the invention of the modern ‘royal’ city. What, in short, were the specific forms of material and temporal ‘ordering’ that came to distinguish Mysore city from its counterparts?

Speaker: Janaki Nair

Historian and Author


Date: 29 November 2021 (Monday)

Time: 4.00 pm

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All are welcome

For any queries, please contact Bitasta Das (, Office of Communications, Indian Institute of Science.