Literary folk: writing popular culture in colonial Punjab 1885-1905

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This chapter identifies some of the ways a Punjabi literary sphere was (mis)understood in the late-Victorian empire through the curation of a canon of Punjabi folk-culture by R.C. Temple (1850-1931), Flora Annie Steel (1847-1929) and C.F. Usborne (1874-1919), all of whom lived and worked in Punjab as an extension of colonial administration. Examples of a diverse and rich Punjabi literary cultures were translated into English under the banner of ‘folklore’ which delegitimised the diversity of prose and verse in Punjabi with origins in religious, spiritual and genres of the epic derived from Persian.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterventions
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking the Nineteenth Century
EditorsAndrew Smith, Anna Barton
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781784995102
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017


  • colonial Punjab
  • Punjabi folk culture
  • Punjabi literary culture


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