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Priti Joshi (English, U of Puget Sound): "Empire Circuits: Flow and Blockage in Anglo-Indian Newspapers"
WhenWednesday, May 22, 2019, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room202
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsEighteenth/Nineteenth Century Graduate Research Cluster

Textual Studies Program
Description

The 1840s-1860s pre-date the high noon of the Raj; in most studies of British India, this period remains relatively unmarked, sandwiched between the years of the empire’s voracious territorial expansion and anti-colonial challenges to it. Yet, print media – particularly newspapers – exploded in these years, partly due to the easing of censorship. I examine Anglo-Indian newspapers from the period leading up to and during the 1857 Uprising from a perspective of circulation and rupture, connection and crisis. Materially, newspapers circulate, and their movement produced collusions and collisions; at times, however, circuits were blocked and the resulting rupture produced unexpected narratives. This paper turns to two moments of rupture: a sensational 1851 trial that pitted the East India Company against an Indian defendant and much of the resident Anglo-Indian community; and six months in 1857 when newspapers were unable to circulate. In each case, the blockage produced new circuits of information and accounts of empire.

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