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Week 2: Indian Ink

Seminar Questions

  • What is the relationship between the rise of the East India Company and print?
  • Why was print controversial in eighteenth-century India?
  • How was Indian knowledge transformed by print?
  • How were printed texts made authoritative?

Seminar Readings

** Halhed, Nathaniel, A Grammar of the Bengal Language (Calcutta, 1778), i-xxv

** Halhed, Nathaniel, A Code of Gentoo Laws (London, 1776), iii-xxiv, xxxvi-xl, and 3-5

* Ogborn, Miles, Indian Ink: Script and Print in the Making of the English East India Company (Chicago University Press, 2007), 198-250

* Gupta, Abhijit, ‘The Indian Subcontinent’, in Suarez, Michael and H. R. Woudhuysen (eds), The Book: A Global History (Oxford, 2013)

Additional Readings

Primary

Balfour, Francis, Insha-yi Harkaran: The Forms Of Herkern Corrected From A Variety Of Manuscripts (Calcutta, 1781)

Bolts, William, Considerations on India Affairs: Particularly Respecting the Present State of Bengal and Its Dependencies (London, 1772)

Gladwin, Francis, Ayeen Akbery; Or, The Institutes of the Emperor Akber (London and Calcutta, 1784 and 1800)

Verelst, Harry, A View of the Rise, Progress and Present State of the English Government in Bengal (London, 1772)

Secondary

Cohn, Bernard, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India (Princeton, NJ, 1996), particularly chapters 1-3.

Dirks, Nicholas, The Scandal of Empire (Harvard, MA, 2009).

Khan, M. Siddiq, ‘The Early History of Bengali Printing’, The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy, 32 (1962)

Lorenzen, David, ‘Who Invented Hinduism?’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 41 (1999)

Metcalf, Barbara, and Thomas Metcalf, A Concise History of Modern India (Cambridge, 2012)

Metcalf, Thomas, Ideologies of the Raj (Cambridge,1997)

Murphy, Sharon, ‘Imperial Reading? The East India Company’s Lending Libraries for Soldiers, C. 1819-1834’, Book History, 12 (2009)

Murphy, Sharon, ‘Libraries, Schoolrooms, and Mud Gadowns: Formal Scenes of Reading at East India Company Stations in India, c. 1819–1835’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 21 (2011)

Ogborn, Miles, Indian Ink: Script and Print in the Making of the English East India Company (Chicago, IL, 2007)

Rocher, Rosane, ‘British Orientalism in the Eighteenth Century: The Dialectics of Knowledge and Government’, in Carol, Appadurai, Breckenridge and Peter Van Der Veer (eds), Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South Asia (Philadelphia, PA, 1993)

Seminar Powerpoint

Powerpoint - Week 2

Seminar Handout

Handout - Week 2

Seminar Books

Binding

Full leather eighteenth-century gilt binding from Halhed, A Code of Gentoo Laws (London, 1776)

Marbled Paper

Marbled paper from Halhed, A Code of Gentoo Laws (London, 1776)

Bookplate

Owner's bookplate, William Markham Esq, Becca Lodge, Yorkshire, Private Secretary to Warren Hastings from Halhed, A Code of Gentoo Laws (London, 1776)

Signature

Printed signature 'B' used to identify format of book (in this case, a folio) from Halhed, A Code of Gentoo Laws (London, 1776)

Plate mark

Plate mark indicating Bengali text was printed from an intaglio engraved copper plate from Halhed, A Code of Gentoo Laws (London, 1776)