Maidaanam.com is an online space dedicated to analyzing the culture, history, and politics of the Deccan and Southern India. We aim to serve as a semi-scholarly resource by promoting public access to conversations in academic fields ranging from History and Literature to Film, Gender Studies, Sociology, and more. Through critical social and cultural analysis, Maidaanam.com encourages unique perspectives on contemporary and historical issues in South Asia.

We take the name “maidaanam” for the many political, geographic and linguistic inheritances the term claims. The word first entered the vocabulary of the Deccan languages by way of the Persian maidaan (میدان). Initially suggesting a town square, it has taken on a further range of meanings associated with public space in the region. In Telugu, maidaanam (మైదానం) connotes an open field or an esplanade. It carries similar meanings in Kannada (ಮೈದಾನ) and Marathi (मैदान) where it suggests a meeting ground, level tract, or clear expanse. In Dakhini and Urdu (میدان), the term refers to the open space at the edge of a town. The Anglo-Indian maidaan refers to a green adjoining a town, a piazza (in the Italian sense), or any open grassy plain. In this context, the maidaan is first and foremost the meeting place of the ruler and the ruled.

Maidaanam.com draws upon these overlapping meanings and the cultural worlds they continue to evoke today. We present ourselves thus as an open field of ideas, a democratic meeting ground, and a cosmopolitan digital commons.

Who is Maidaanam?

Maidaanam.com is hosted by an editorial collective of scholars, journalists, and activists from diverse professional and research backgrounds. We have come together in order to generate new and necessary conversations on the culture, history, and politics of South Asia from the standpoint of the Deccan and Southern India.

Managing Editors:

Christopher Chekuri Christopher Chekuri is Associate Professor of History at San Francisco State University. His research interests include the study of kingship and power in the Indic tradition, colonial violence, and Telugu language and literature.

Gautham Reddy Gautham Reddy is Research Librarian for South Asian Studies and Religion at Emory University, Atlanta. His research interests include Telugu language and literature, the history of the book in South Asia, and discourses of modernity and tradition.

Editorial Collective:

Suneetha Achyuta A. Suneetha is Senior Fellow at Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies, Hyderabad. Her research interests include gender and violence, secularism and the Muslim woman’s question, and Muslim politics in the Telugu region.

Sravanthi Kollu Sravanthi Kollu is a Postdoctoral Associate at Kilachand Honors College, Boston University. She writes on literature, history, and community with a focus on colonial and postcolonial Telugu literature and South India.

Rama Mantena Rama Mantena is Associate Professor of History and Global Asian Studies (Affiliate) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include histories of modern South Asia and the British Empire, colonial archives, and public spheres in Twentieth-century India.

Gautam Pemmaraju Gautam Pemmaraju is a Mumbai-based independent filmmaker, writer, and researcher working in the areas of history, literature, and art with a special interest in the Deccan.

Satish Poduval Satish Poduval is Professor of Cultural Studies with the School of Inter-Disciplinary Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. His research interests include Malayalam cinema, contemporary Indian fiction, and cultural theory.

Tharakeshwar V.B. Tharakeshwar V.B. is Professor of Translation Studies with the School of Literary Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. His research interests include Kannada language and literature, cultural history, and translation theory.