[csaa-forum] seminars

Devleena Ghosh Devleena.Ghosh at uts.edu.au
Fri Jul 8 12:04:30 CST 2005

we are fortunate to have two renowned international scholars visiting 
Sydney in July and presenting seminars. They unfortunately fall in the 
same week. But at least they are both in the break so please do come.



Professor Balachandran is Professor, International History and 
Politics, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva. He is 
Editor of The Indian Economic and Social History Review; Fellow, Centre 
for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics; Member, Academic 
Committee, Europaeum; and Member, Steering Group of the European School 
of Public Policy and Leadership. His publications include India and the 
World Economy, c. 1850-1950 (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 
2003, The Reserve Bank of India: 1951-1967 (Delhi and Oxford: Oxford 
University Press, 1998), John Bullion’s Empire: Britain’s Gold Problem 
and India between the Wars (London: Curzon, 1996)

Date: 18th July
Day: Monday
Time: 6 pm
Venue: UTS, Bon Marche (Bldg 3) 210. Enter 755 Harris St
(We usually have dinner afterwards at a nearby restaurant)

Modern" Empires: Makings, Makeovers, and Make-beliefs

It has generally escaped attention that the historiography of 
imperialism ranges across the divide of reason: rational factors 
(search for markets and raw materials) are not entirely absent in 
explanations of German and Japanese imperialism, but there is also an 
undeniable emphasis here on irrational fears, anxieties, and 
ideologies. By contrast, British imperialism is more usually thought of 
as a rational project motivated by clearly identifiable economic, 
political, and strategic goals that were pursued well or badly in a 
world of uncertainty and imperfect information. This distinction 
implies there was not one, but at least two European imperial projects. 
How valid are these stereotypes? How far have these stereotypes served 
as guides for historical research and filters of historical evidence? 
How fixed were imperial goals? Can the latter be judged rational or not 
in themselves, irrespective of the costs and consequences of pursuing 
them? Thus is it possible to uncover a deeper coherence between the two 
empires and their master nations than these stereotypes suggest? I pose 
these questions both for their own sake and in an effort to bridge the 
chasm that, generally speaking, separates histories of Europe and of 
its empires. In most, including post-colonial scholarship, 19th century 
empires are regarded as an excrescence of an Europe that is defined, 
autonomous, and ineffably given. In the few instances where 
metropolitan and imperial/colonial histories have come together 
fruitfully in recent years, they raise profound questions about the 
moves and transitions that are generally taken for granted in 
narratives of modernity in Europe. My paper attempts to pursue some of 
these questions by revisiting debates about the nature and sources of 
19th century empires. Juxtaposing these debates with intersecting but 
rarely connected, currents in studies of European social, economic, and 
cultural history, reveals that Europe’s histories of itself are framed 
not merely, as conventionally understood, in relation to an external 
other (i.e. the Orient broadly understood), but also an internal other. 
Uncovering the internal rule of difference helps, I believe, raise 
important questions about the meanings and nature of Europe, modernity, 
and liberalism that are occluded by the conventional assumptions of a 
unitary Europe and an unitary modern experience.

All Welcome.


Dr Meenakshi Bharat is a Reader in English and Head of the Department 
of English at Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi. Her 
critical interests include film. Children’s literature and Postcolonial 
Studies. Her publications include The Ultimate Colony, (Allied 
Publishers: New Delhi, 2003) and Desert in Bloom: Contemporary Indian 
Women’s Fiction in English, (Pencraft: New Delhi, 2004). She is 
currently working on a collection of essays on the Indo-Pak 
relationship in Films.

Date: 21st July
Day: Thursday
Time: 6 pm
Venue: Bon Marche (Bldg 3) 210

City slick vs. village hick: A Study of changing perceptions in Hindi 

Over the past two to three decades, Bollywood films have shown a 
remarkable change in the way they perceive the city. Earlier films like 
Mother India, Upkar, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Ponga Pandit, to mention just 
a few box office successes of the past, reveal a marked and significant 
use of rural settings. But under the recent wave of global awareness, 
the village, the rural has been virtually given the boot. ‘Global’ 
sensibilities, emphasizing the need for ‘globally’ pertinent subjects, 
deploy marketing strategies that are primarily global in target. The 
evolution of the nation from a developing entity to that of a developed 
one seems to demand the representation of a face more internationally 
amenable and accessible, more understandable than the earlier, more 
esoteric rural one. While identifying the specific changes in the 
perspective of filmmakers, my presentation will explore the reasons, 
other than the instigatory above, for this transition to overly urban 
themes and urban characters. The effort will be to essay a probe into 
the dynamics and the problematics entailed in the construction of the 
urban sheen and sophistication by largely city-bred and city-located 
directors and producers in Hindi cinema.

(Dr) Devleena Ghosh
Senior Lecturer
Writing Journalism and Social Inquiry
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney

Postal address: PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
Phone and Voice Mail: +61-2-95142289
Fax: +61-2-95142332

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