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Grant number: FB-57703-14

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Douglas Haynes
Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH 03755-1808)

Advertising and the Making of the Middle Class in Western India, 1918-1940

I seek NEH funding to write a book on advertising by global firms in western India between 1918 and 1940. Relying upon theories that suggest that advertisement needs to evoke "prior meanings" that resonate among consumers, my book argues that professional advertisers in this region drew upon and transformed notions of modern conjugality already circulating among an emerging middle class. The study will be based upon extensive research in business archives and upon analysis of texts and images in numerous advertisements I have collected in India. The book will be the first full-length study to establish the connection of advertising to key processes of historical change in South Asia, especially the formation of the middle-class family. It will also contribute to recent efforts to place South Asian history in a global framework by discussing how the circulation of commodities and discourses about consumption on a world scale became involved in the making of the Indian middle class.

Project fields:
Cultural History; Gender Studies; South Asian History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2014 – 8/31/2015