Book at Lunchtime: India, Empire and First World War Culture

india empire  book cover

Join us for the TORCH Book at Lunchtime event on India, Empire and First World War Culture by Professor Santanu Das. The event will begin with a free lunch at 1:30pm, with the discussion 2pm-3pm.

Book at Lunchtime is a series of bite-sized book discussions held fortnightly during term-time, with commentators from a range of disciplines. The events are free to attend and open to all.

Register for your free place on Eventbrite here. If you would prefer not to use Eventbrite, please email torch@humanities.ox.ac.uk.


About the book

Based on ten years of research, Santanu Das's India, Empire, and First World War Culture: Writings, Images, and Songs recovers the sensuous experience of combatants, non-combatants and civilians from undivided India in the 1914–1918 conflict and their socio-cultural, visual, and literary worlds. Around 1.5 million Indians were recruited, of whom over a million served abroad. Das draws on a variety of fresh, unusual sources - objects, images, rumours, streetpamphlets, letters, diaries, sound-recordings, folksongs, testimonies, poetry, essays, and fiction - to produce the first cultural and literary history, moving from recruitment tactics in villages through sepoy traces and feelings in battlefields, hospitals, and POW camps to post-war reflections on Europe and empire. Combining archival excavation in different countries across several continents with investigative readings of Gandhi, Kipling, Iqbal, Naidu, Nazrul, Tagore, and Anand, this imaginative study opens up the worlds of sepoys and labourers, men and women, nationalists, artists, and intellectuals, trying to make sense of home and the world in times of war.

Panel commentators will include Dr Yasmin Khan, Professor Laura Marcus, and Professor Jay Winter

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