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Thomas Robert Travers
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY 14853-2801)
Indian Petitioning and the Making of the British Empire in South Asia, 1765-1800

My study examines the large literature of ‘complaints’ produced by Indian subjects during the first half century of British colonial rule in eastern India, c. 1765-1800. By studying Indian petitions preserved in the British East India Company’s records, together with treatises produced in Persian (the language of political elites in Mughal India), I examine how Indian subjects became entangled within a modern colonial rule of law, and also how they critiqued this regime by drawing on Indo-Islamicate theories of consultative rulership. Situating my study within an emerging global and comparative history of early modern political thought, I also explore moments of cross-fertilization within colonial encounters, showing how authors in Persian and English often sought to ‘bridge cultures’ by highlighting points of overlap between European and Indo-Islamicate notions of political justice.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British History; Intellectual History; South Asian History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2014 – 7/31/2014