Personal Writing and Textual Practices in the British Empire, 19th-20th Centuries

Date / time: 14 April, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

We are excited to open registration for the LIAS-funded one-day conference on Personal Writing and Textual Practices in the British Empire, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The conference will explore the experiences of individuals in the British Empire as constructed and represented through various forms of writing, specifically personal in nature.

The conference has been organised by LIAS visiting fellow, Dr Ipshita Nath and HyPIR PhD student, Ellen Smith.

The conference will be taking place in person at 128 Regent Road. It will be free to attend and lunch will be included. Spaces are limited so if you are interested in attending as a general participant please email Ellen Smith: as soon as possible and state any allergies or dietary requirements. Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis. We will be welcoming speakers from around the UK and internationally, structured around three key panels: Travel Writing; Writing and Producing the Everyday; and Sources and Genre. Our esteemed Keynote Speaker is Dr. Éadaoin Agnew from Kingston University London who will be concluding the conference.

Draft Programme

Personal Writing and Textual Practices in the British Empire, C19th-20th | One-day conference, University of Leicester | Generously support by the Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) CFP

In person, 128 Regent Road, University of Leicester | 14 April 2023, 10am-6pm GMT

Co-convenors: Dr Ipshita Nath (LIAS Fellow & Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Saskatchewan) & Ellen Smith (AHRC Midlands4Cities PhD Researcher, School of History, Politics & International Relations)

10 – 11 | Introductions and Tea/Coffee on arrival

11 – 12:30 | Travel Writing

The travelogue as political activism: a subaltern revolutionary and the global struggle against imperialism and capitalism in the 1930s – Dr Souvik Naha, University of Glasgow

India and England, To and Fro: Understanding Feminine Space in the British Raj – Ritobina Chakraborty, University of Edinburgh

‘Quite a village full’: How shipboard diaries and letters highlight communities and a knowledge exchange on board passenger ships to Australia during the 19th century – Houda Al-Kateb, University of Southampton

12:30 – 1 pm | Lunch

1 – 2:30 pm | Writing and Producing the ‘Everyday’

Extraordinary events and everyday letters: emotional ties in the mid-nineteenth century missionary archive – Dr Esme Cleall, the University of Sheffield

Culture and people in Oman through the British missionary writings and practices during the 19th and 20th Century – Muneer Al-hadhrami, University of Sheffield

How did I learn this? Constructing Needlecraft Cultures in Colonial India, c.1850-1947 – Pragya Sharma, Independent designer and researcher

2:45 – 3 pm | Break

3 – 4:30 pm | Sources and Genre

A Story of a West Indian Policeman: Race, Class, and Justice in Inspector Herbert Thomas’s Memoir – Liz Egan, University of Warwick

My Dear Sister, Things are far from fine: Written Accounts of the Accra Riots – Bridget Blankley, University of Southampton

Subaltern Historiography in Utpal Dutt’s The Great Revolution – Sohail Hoda, Trinity College Dublin & Dr. Subhadeep Paul, Jadavpur University

4:30 – 6 pm | Keynote Address

Dr. Éadaoin Agnew (Kingston University London) with Q&A.

End and Drinks