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Lezing Elleke Boehmer aan de VU: Travelling in the West

The Graduate School of Humanities cordially invites you to the lecture ‘Imperial, Victorian, Indian and Worldly: «Travelling in the West» in the Late 19th Century’ by prof. Elleke Boehmer (Oxford).

elleke boehmer

Prof. Elleke Boehmer

Date & venue: Monday 30 May, 2016, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, room HG 12A37, 16.00-17.30 uur.

Professor Elleke Boehmer (Oxford) considers late nineteenth-century South Asian travellers’ movement through and beyond Suez as a process of ‘travelling in the west’, and so of acquiring an identity that was at once imperial, Victorian, Indian, and worldly. The elite Indians who were most peripatetic at this time, experienced their journey from the sub-continent to Britain as a stage-by-stage passage into an expansive and speeded-up modern world, as well as, simultaneously, a process of finding or laying claim to a new self. The travellers’ movement through and beyond Suez involved a series of shifts along a sliding scale of difference and wonderment, where each new phase seemed freighted with both individual and mythic significance. The linear trajectory of their ocean-crossing decanted each one of these travelling provincials from the layered, multiple temporalities of India, into the channel of progressive, modern time, an induction which would eventually lead them, it was believed, towards the rights and privileges of imperial citizenship and ‘universal humanity’. Travel allowed them to take possession of new worlds in the imagination, not only the western world beyond Suez, but also the concept of an idealized England, ‘the home of [their] rulers’—and, in due course, of an Indian homeland.


elleke boehmer shouting-arrivals



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