Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution & Empire

1 December 2020

Book launch and panel discussion: Sujit Sivasundaram’s ‘Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire‘ (William Collins, 2020), Thursday 17 December 2020 16:30–18:00 GMT

Hosted by UCL Anthropocene and the UCL Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World.

Sujit Sivasundaram’s ‘Waves Across the South’ is a wide-ranging and far-reaching new history of the origins of the British empire c.1790–1850. Inverting the usual northern focus on the ‘age of revolution’ it shows how empire, war, and counter-revolt were shaped by southern geographies and environments while being contested by indigenous communities. It does so by stressing the physical setting of the oceans as highways for mobile indigenous peoples who were independently exploring ideas of liberty and progress even while the British violently appropriated both peoples and ideas for themselves. ‘Waves Across the South’ offers an integration of environmental, global, imperial, material, and southern histories. As Sivasundaram suggests, in our age of rising sea levels reflecting on how this global imperialism failed to flatten ocean-facing communities can help us ‘while the clock ticks for what can be done to turn around the environmental impact of globalisation and imperialism’.

Sujit will be discussing ‘Waves Across the South’ with the leading historians of empire, environment, material culture, and Asia with: Sunil Amrith (Yale), Debjani Bhattacharyya (Drexel), Margot Finn (UCL), Jagjeet Lally (UCL).

Sujit Sivasundaram is Professor of Professor of World History and Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Sign up for the discussion on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/book-launch-sujit-sivasundarams-waves-across-the-south-tickets-130590007227