Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

2/1/2008 - 10/31/2008

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Empire and English Language Literary Culture in Bengal, 1780-1912

FAIN: FB-53335-07

Mary Ellis Gibson
University of North Carolina, Greensboro (Greensboro, NC 27412-5068)

This study examines English language poetry in India from its beginnings to 1912. It surveys a crucial portion of the imperial archive and proposes a theoretical frame for understanding imperial literary relations. Critiquing nationalist historiography, I examine English language writing in three registers: material histories of uneven development; transperipheral histories of cultural institutions; and psychic histories accessible in literary conventions. Five chapters treat early periodicals; the literary friendship of Derozio and the British poet Emma Roberts; the rise of the literary annual in Britain and Bengal; the creation of an English language canon in schools and libraries; and the role of Indian poets in fin de siecle publishing.