Cornell Dept. of English presents a lecture by
Priyamvada Gopal (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
"Insurgent Empire: How Anticolonial Resistance Shaped Dissent in Britain"
Much attention, both within British imperial historiography and postcolonial literary studies, has been paid to the ways in which colonial subjects took up British ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determination. The possibility of reverse impact—and reverse appropriation and reworking—however, has been curiously sidelined or is only notionally invoked. This lecture argues that the emergence of metropolitan dissent from the imperial project alongside liberation struggles in the colonies was a dialogical process, over a long historical arc, in which the lines of influence can be seen to go in both directions. The resistance of the colonized shaped cultures of dissent in the heart of the imperium in profoundly important ways.
Priyamvada Gopal (Ph.D., Cornell 2000) is a Reader in Anglophone and Related Literatures at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College. She is the author of Literary Radicalism in India (Routledge 2005) and The Indian Novel in English: Nation, History and Narration (Oxford 2009). She has written for The Guardian, The Nation, Al-Jazeera, Open: the Magazine and The Hindu, among others. Her forthcoming book, Insurgent Empire, is due out with Verso in 2018.
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