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Archive for September, 2010

ANGLOPHONE POETRY IN COLONIAL INDIA, 1780–1913

A Critical Anthology

Ohio University Press forthcoming

Edited by Mary Ellis Gibson
Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780–1913: A Critical Anthology makes accessible for the first time the entire range of poems written in English on the subcontinent from their beginnings in 1780 to the watershed moment in 1913 when Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Mary Ellis Gibson establishes accurate texts for such well-known poets as Toru Dutt and the early Indian English poet Kasiprasad Ghose. The anthology brings together poets who were in fact colleagues, competitors, and influences on each other. The historical scope of the anthology, beginning with the famous Orientalist Sir William Jones and the anonymous “Anna Maria” and ending with Indian poets publishing in fin-de-siècle London, will enable teachers and students to understand what brought Kipling early fame and why at the same time Tagore’s Gitanjali became a global phenomenon. Anglophone Poetry in Colonial India, 1780–1913 puts all parties to the poetic conversation back together and makes their work accessible to American audiences.

With accurate and reliable texts, detailed notes on vocabulary, historical and cultural references, and biographical introductions to more than thirty poets, this collection will significantly reshape the understanding of English language literary culture in India. It allows scholars to experience the diversity of poetic forms created in this period and to understand the complex religious, cultural, political, and gendered divides that shaped them.

This anthology accompanies a book examining these and similar poems, placing them in their cultural contexts.

English Verse in Colonial India from Jones to Tagore

By Mary Ellis Gibson

Ohio University Press 2011 forthcoming

“This is genuinely groundbreaking work: ambitiously conceived, suggestively presented, and potentially paradigm-shifting.”
Tricia Lootens — author of Lost Saints: Silence, Gender, and Victorian Literary Canonization

In Indian Angles, Mary Ellis Gibson provides a new historical approach to Indian English literature. Gibson shows that poetry, not fiction, was the dominant literary genre of Indian writing in English until 1860 and that poetry written in colonial situations can tell us as much or even more about figuration, multilingual literacies, and histories of nationalism than novels can. Gibson recreates the historical webs of affiliation and resistance that were experienced by writers in colonial India—writers of British, Indian, and mixed ethnicities.

Advancing new theoretical and historical paradigms for reading colonial literatures, Indian Angles makes accessible many writers heretofore neglected or virtually unknown. Gibson recovers texts by British women, by non-elite British men, and by persons who would, in the nineteenth century, have been called Eurasian. Her work traces the mutually constitutive history of English language poets from Sir William Jones to Toru Dutt and Rabindranath Tagore. Drawing on contemporary postcolonial theory, her work also provides new ways of thinking about British internal colonialism as its results were exported to South Asia.

In lucid and accessible prose, Gibson presents a new theoretical approach to colonial and postcolonial literatures.

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