19 September 2018
Time: 6:15 - 8:00pm
Venue: ArtsTwo LT
As an addition to The School of History's Welcome Week programme, Dr Eleanor Newbigin (SOAS) will be delviering a PHU lecture entitled 'Decolonising the history of India's partition: race, emotion and memory'.
How we remember the partition of the Indian subcontinent has undergone a profound shift in the 70 years since it took place. As the many public celebrations last year showed, we have gone from seeing partition/independence as a political ‘event’ to a view of partition as an ongoing process that disrupted – emotionally and geographically – the lives of millions of ordinary people. This change in understanding was driven by and has aided a process of questioning the power and popular legitimacy of the national states of India and Pakistan but what this new view of partition means for how we see British imperial power, at 1947 and beyond, is less clear.
Tracing the development of partition historiography, this talk considers why the social and emotional ‘turn’ in partition history has not included British people living and working in India in this period. It asks what are the implications of this exclusion for how we understand – and teach – about imperialism and decolonisation. Drawing on partition history, it will suggest some possible directions we might take to develop a more emotionally engaged history of British colonialism.