Please join the Eighteenth/Nineteenth Century Graduate Research Cluster today at 4:30pm in the Simpson Center (CMU 202) for a presentation by Dr. Priti Joshi (English, University of Puget Sound) entitled “Empire Circuits: Flow and Blockage in Anglo-Indian Newspapers.” This talk should be of particular interest to those working on empire studies, Victorian studies, and print culture.
Special thanks to the Textual Studies Program for cosponsoring this lecture. For more details, please contact Matt Poland.
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.