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SAP: “Subaltern Speak: An Indian Soldier's 'Travelogue' of China, 1900-1901"

Monday, September 12, 2016 at 12:15pm to 1:15pm

Uris Hall, G08

This talk will offer a close reading of Gadadhar Singh's 1902 Hindi account of his thirteen months in China as a member of the British Indian force that was part of an eight-nations International Expedition mobilized to lift the siege of the Foreign Legations in Beijing.  It examines his text to highlight his extraordinary "inter-Asian" perspective on a China seemingly on the verge of foreign takeover and his role as a subaltern in a colonial army ostensibly on a civilizing mission in a “barbaric" land.  Singh's story of China is also about India and the ties that bound the two countries and civilizations together.

Biography: Anand Yang is Chair, Department of History, University of Washington and holds a joint appointment in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. His early scholarship dealt with peasants and agrarian societies under British colonial rule. One outcome of that work, based on archival research and fieldwork conducted in the north Indian state of Bihar, was the book The Limited Raj: Agrarian Relations in Colonial India (1989).  His 1999 book on Bazaar India: Markets, Society, and the Colonial State in Bihar situates subaltern history in the world of commerce and culture. Yang has two books currently in process. The first is a study entitled Empire of Convicts that narrates the laboring stories of Indians who were banished to penal colonies in Southeast Asia for their criminal and/or political activities. The second is an annotated translation (with Kamal and Ranjana Sheel) of Thirteen Months in China, a remarkable book written in Hindi by an Indian subaltern who helped suppress the Boxer Uprising in China in 1900-1901. In addition, Yang edits the Perspectives on the Global Past series with the University of Hawaii Press and co-edits with Bonnie Smith a multi-volume New Oxford World History series published by Oxford University Press.

Event Type



Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, History, South Asia Program


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Barry Doeffinger

Contact Phone



Anand Yang

Speaker Affiliation

Dept. of History, University of Washington

Disability Access Information

G08 accessible to all, others call 607-255-8493

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