Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type





The three excerpts from Amitav Ghosh's novels find the main characters speculating about the relationship between organizational structures, epistemology and knowledge production. In the first excerpt, Arjun tells Dinu that he does not believe that the colonial bureaucracy known as the British Anny will continue to exist if the policy of separating Indian and British officers persists. Anticipating the problems created from Indians holding leadership positions, he doubts that the British Anny "can go on." Murugan explains how the counter-scientists operate in the second excerpt, noting that members were revising epistemology by distorting knowledge through mutation. They were not following the traditional trajectory of accumulating knowledge, like capital, in a linear sense. Finally, the narrator of, In An Antique Land notes with despair that he and the religious leader, the Imam, had collapsed a centuries-old dialogue between Egypt and India by articulating the vernacular of Western academic historiography. Renouncing topics for comparison that are lodged within the differences and similarities between India and Egypt like religion and agricultural production, the two characters discuss development in Western terms. Ghosh's three novels illustrate that the bureaucratic and Eurocentric configuration of colonial organizations cannot thrive in the contemporary postcolonial and postmodern service economy. Instead, new (anti)-structures should develop to encourage a global production of knowledge.