Archive for May, 2015

Old_Fort_Playhouse_and_Holwell's_Monument_Calcutta1786Glasgow and Calcutta in the nineteenth century were often tagged as second cities of empire. But what were the relationships between them? How did Bengalis and Scots connect with and contest their relationships to each other? What intellectual, horticultural, literary, commercial, religious and artistic connections linked the two cities? What were the dynamics of Bengali and Scottish identities as they were constructed and shaped in imperial relations? How might we understand empire, not as a metropole colony dyad, but through more complex networks that attend to regional difference?

May 15-16, 2015, will see the first of three workshops exploring these questions.  The School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow invites auditors to the program and invites postgraduate and early career researchers to a special workshop on May 16.  To audit or to attend the early career / postgraduate student workshop, contact Mary Ellis Gibson. Mary.Gibson@glasgow.ac.uk

The workshop brings together scholars from India, Canada, Europe, and Britain, thanks to the generous support from a  Partnership and Mobility grant from the British Academy and from the School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow.

Second Cities of Empire:

Glasgow / Calcutta and the Legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment

All sessions and lunches take place in #4 Professor Square, University of Glasgow (enter by the Main Gate, University Avenue).

15-16 May 2015

Friday, May 15

9:15 a.m. Welcome    Nigel Leask, Regius Chair of English Language and Literature, University of Glasgow

Scope of the project   Mary Ellis Gibson, Professor of English, University of Glasgow

9:30   Opening keynote addresses

Rosinka Chaudhuri, Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata,

“The Scottish Enlightenment in Bengal, circa 1826”

Parimala Rao, Assistant Professor, History of Education, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

“Scottish Educators in Nineteenth-Century India”

11:00 coffee

11:30 Workshop Roundtable #1 (15 minute presentations and discussion)

Kate Teltscher, Reader in English, University of Roehampton

“Botanical Networks: Bengal, Scotland and Kew”

Suchitra Choudhury, University of Glasgow,

“Literary Shawls: A Fashionable Proposition?”

Anne Buddle, Collections Advisor, National Galleries of Scotland

“Tipu Sultan: Edinburgh, Calcutta, and Glasgow”

1:15 Lunch

2:30 Visit to University Archives, 13 Thurso Street, Glasgow, G11 6PE, for the special exhibition, Glasgow / Calcutta: Scotland / Bengal in the Long Nineteenth Century. Featuring collection highlights from Glasgow University Library and University Archives.

3:45 Visit to Kelvingrove Museum for coffee. Tour of Kelvingrove park focusing on India in the Glasgow International Exhibitions with Rosemary Spooner, Art History, Glasgow University

6:30 Dinner for core participants Café Andaluz, Cresswell Lane. Auditors: dinner on your own.

Saturday, May 16

9:30 a.m.

Keynote addresses

Daniel White, Professor of English, University of Toronto

“’The East Easty’: Periodical Poetry and the Politics of Light Reading”

Bashabi Fraser, Professor and Director of the Tagore Institute, Edinburgh Napier University

“ Calcutta through the Colonial Lens: Scottish Writers in the Calcutta Review

11 a.m. coffee

11:30 Roundtable #2

Roger Jeffery, Dean for India, University of Edinburgh

“Scots Returning from India: How did the Empire ‘Strike Back’?”

Chris Kelleher, University of Toronto

“Erring Spirits: Translation, Conversion, and Apocalypse in British Romantic Literature, 1785-1840”

Swapan Chakravorty, Professor of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

“Calcutta/Bengal: Perspectives from the History of the Book”

Lunch 1-2 Discussion: Future directions? forward planning for years 2-3

Roundtable #3

Maire Ni Fhlathuin, Associate Professor in English Literature, University of


“Ruins, Ruined Cities, and Visions of Dystopia in Nineteenth-century India”

Gioia Angeletti, Associate Professor in English Literature, University of Parma,

“‘Proto-global’ Literature from the Scottish Border to the Indian Subcontinent: John Leyden’s Enlightenment, Orientalism and Poetry from a Transcultural Perspective”

Mary Ellis Gibson, Professor of English, Glasgow University

“Poetry and Networks of Patronage: John Leyden Makes Important Friends in Calcutta”

3:30 Workshop for postgraduates and early career researchers led by Nigel Leask and Rosinka Chaudhuri

participants: Suchitra Chaudhuri (Glasgow), Chris Kelleher (Toronto), Louise Creechan (Glasgow), Peter Slater (Glasgow), James Medley Morris (Glasgow), Rosemary Spooner (Glasgow), Eve Chancellor (Glasgow)

Other participants may wish to visit the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery on Campus


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