In January, the PEIC team flew to Delhi for a conference hosted by the University of Delhi, covering Anglo-Indian corporate connections from the earliest days of the East India Company to the Rebellion in 1857. Held at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, speakers included students and academics from the Universities of Delhi, Kent, Oxford and Visva-Bharati (West Bengal).
The conference allowed core questions and materials of the PEIC project to be developed and tested. Particularly valuable were the discussions with Indian academics who have access to a whole range of sources normally unavailable to the team. However, the academic exchanges went beyond the sharing of material, covering broader conceptual ideas about the governmental model of the company in India: the conference prompted rich and thought-provoking reflections on the company’s role as a governor over space, families, jails, religion and even literature. Theses conceptualisations will doubtless inform the development of the project, as well as being an excellent starting point for future conversations, collaborations and capacity building.
A storify of the live-tweeting of the conference can be found here.
The event culminated with an evening reception in the Gymkhana Club in Delhi. As well as continuing the stimulating academic conversations, the team hosted a number of University of Kent alumni as part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Given the enthusiasm with which the event was greeted, we hope this might lead to the formation of a Delhi alumni group in the future.