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Romantic Nationalism in India: Cultivation of Culture and the Global Circulation of Ideas
Leiden: Brill, 2024  


Cultivating Sikh Culture and Identity: Art, Music and Philology
Routledge: forthcoming  
"For any one interested in finding new frameworks to understand Sikhs, Punjab and British Raj this is a must have book. Cultivating Sikh Culture and Identity is a magnificent, multifaceted and conceptually inspiring text that is destined to become a key work for our understanding of Sikhism in the twenty-first century. By fusing philology, arts, music and culture the book opens new frontiers in thought and praxis that reveal a remarkably complex world, one that would have remained invisible to us without this pioneering intervention. Surely, this text will ignite a million new conversations both within and beyond the academy" 

- Harjot Oberoi, University of British Columbia, Canada

"Rejecting simplistic arguments about imperial domination, van der Linden shows how Sikh political agency became intertwined with Sikh cultural life. Against this backdrop, he examines Sikh music, Macauliffe’s scholarly contributions, and Emily de Klerk’s sketches, while boldly noting Punjab’s “undeserved negligence in historiography.” The observation that this region “was anything but a backwater to the development of ‘Hindustani’ music” throws down the gauntlet to future research on North Indian music—no longer can it sidestep Punjab" - Gurminder Kaur Bhogal, Wellesley College, USA

"A unique exegesis of key texts and visuals from Sikh religious and musical histories in the modern period"
- Radha Kapuria, Durham University, UK
Arnold Bake: A Life with South Asian Music
London: Routledge, 2018

"[…] illuminating biography […] highly valuable contribution [...] fills a major gap in the intellectual history of ethnomusicology and, in doing so, joins recent calls within this discipline to return, again, to a historical perspective. [...] represents another important contribution to the emerging field of Global Music History in which ethnomusicologists loom large as objects of investigation and as interdisciplinary points of contact" - Martin Rempe, H-Soz-Kult 

"[...] masterly biography [...] a most useful contribution to the ethnomusicology of South Asia, and also to the history of music studies at SOAS" - Richard Widdess, author of Dhrupad: Tradition and Performance in Indian Music


"Could not put it down. A very good read, and great to learn about Bake. I loved the balanced and informative treatment of Alain Daniélou, Arthur Henry Fox-Strangways, etc., and it was amusing to read the author's take on Nazir Jairazbhoy and The Great Shruti War" - Peter Manuel, author of Thumri in Historical and Stylistic Perspectives

"[…] truly wonderful book […] enjoyed the perceptive personality sketches of many of Bake’s acquaintances […] What a colorful, adventurous, lively life Bake and his wife lived, and what a different time it was" – David Shulman, author of Muttusvami Diksitar and the Invention of Modern Carnatic Music

Music and Empire in Britain and India: Identity, Internationalism, and Cross-Cultural Communication
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013

"There is no doubt that this book makes a major contribution to the understanding of the relationship of music and empire. It has been exhaustively researched, is carefully argued and accessibly written, and the author has the advantage not enjoyed by previous writers in this field of combining historical understanding and musical knowledge. It is likely to hold its place in the subject area for years to come" - Jeffrey Richards, author of Imperialism and Music: Britain 1876-1953 

"In this original and thought-provoking study, Bob van der Linden brings together a colourful cast of musicians, composers, poets, music critics and researchers who shared a deep passion for Indian music and thought, and played an important role in the modern histories of musical Orientalism and Hindustani music as well as the emergence of ethnomusicology. Engagingly written and refreshingly free of jargon, this excellent book deserves to be read widely"

Joep Bor, editor and co-author of The Raga Guide  and Hindustani Music: Thirteenth to Twentieth Centuries 

Moral Languages from Colonial Punjab: The Singh Sabha, Arya Samaj and Ahmadiyahs
New Delhi: Manohar, 2008

"A compelling set of possibilities for complicating narratives of communal difference. In a field as sophisticated as that on communalism in colonial India, this is surely a significant achievement" - Farina Mir, Indian Economic and Social History Review 

"[...] clearly written, accessible account [...] historically grounded and theoretically sound [...] Van der Linden is to be commended for presenting an ambitious comparative analysis of these Punjabi groups" - Michael Hawley, Contemporary South Asia 

"[...] the first work to treat all three [movements] comparatively and to address larger questions of modernity and world history [...] Its major achievement is to challenge recent scholarship’s emphasis on ‘communal’ conflict and religious difference in colonial Punjab by focussing on equally important unities" - Timothy S. Dobe, Journal of Asian Studies 

"One of the best few [monographs] to appear so far on the social and intellectual history of Punjab" - Raj Kumar Hans, Summerhill:

Indian Institute of Advanced Study Review


"[...] when van der Linden provocatively describes the parallels between the discourses and practices of three important reformist organizations across traditions, he successfully challenges the concept of religion, in particular its often reductionist link to belief, theology, or its antagonistic relation to science. Such a radical approach points to new directions in the reworking of scholarly narratives of secularization. It helps correct the tendency of religious language to gloss over change by its traditional vocabulary, and work against a pigeonholing of religion as distinct from concepts of progress, uplift, or rationality" - Max Stille, Contributions to the History of Concepts

© 2024 Bob van der Linden

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