I am a specialist in Bengali Shakta traditions, and particularly intrigued by how political authority, canonical works of literature, and esotericism mediate differences between or within religions. My current book project, Raja Krishnacandra: Hindu Kingship and Myth-Making in Early Modern Bengal, explores how an eighteenth century Bengali raja named Krishnacandra Ray — famed throughout the region as a patron of Sanskrit scholarship, a champion of tantric goddess worship, and the alleged architect of British colonialism in India — passed into myth, and what that process suggests about the formation of regional and sectarian identities. Other interests at the moment include sacrifice, ritual magic, literary exegesis, and Hindu-Buddhist interactions.
My research specializations are in the history of medicine, science and global and imperial history, spanning South Asian, Caribbean and Atlantic history from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. I am currently completing my next research monograph, titled Inscriptions of Nature: Geology and the Science of Antiquity. The manuscript is based on the major Leverhulme trust funded project; ‘An Antique Land; Geology, Philology and the Making of the Indian Subcontinent, 1830-1920’, of which I was the Principal Investigator. The project investigates the history of the discovery of the geological past of Indian subcontinent in its philological, anthropological and cultural dimensions and its links with the discovery of Indian antiquity. In doing so, the project highlights the unique convergence of mythology and science in India. I have published four sole-authored monographs. My first book, Western Science in Modern India: Metropolitan Methods, Colonial Practices (2004) was based on my PhD dissertation. Beginning in the eighteenth century, this book reveals a process of knowledge-transfer that involved European surgeons, missionaries and surveyors and Indian nationalist scientists. In the process, it demonstrates how modern science became the idiom of Indian nationhood and modernity. My second monograph, Materials and Medicine: Trade, Conquest and Therapeutics in the Eighteenth Century was published in 2010. Through a study of the expansion of British colonialism in the West Indies and South Asia, it explores how medicine was transformed in the eighteenth century in the context of war and commerce and acquired new medical materials as well as a distinct materialism. My third monograph, Bacteriology in British India: Laboratory Medicine and the Tropics, (2012) is based on the research for a major project; the Wellcome Trust University Award on ‘Laboratory Medical Research in Colonial India 1890-1950’ at the University of Kent, 2006-2011. The book provides a social and cultural history of bacteriology and vaccination in colonial India, situating it at the confluence of colonial medical practices, institutionalization and social and cultural movements. While teaching history of medicine and imperialism, I realised that although there has been prolific new research on colonial medicine in recent years there was a need for a synoptic and thorough analysis of the field. Consequently, I wrote Medicine and Empire, 1600-1960, which was published in 2014 by Palgrave MacMillan. The book provides a global history of imperial medicine focusing on British, French and Spanish empires in Africa, Asia and America from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.
I have taught widely at various colleges and universities in New England and have taught at Marymount since the Fall of 2018. I specialize in the high Victorian period, as well as colonial and post-colonial literature and theory. My research revolves around the British women writers of the Raj period and their use of India as a cultural commodity. Currently, my research interests have involved the study of epigenetics and the idea of inherited trauma in literary discourse.
I am a historian with interests in Atlantic history, British imperial history, and Caribbean studies. My work has focused on the histories and legacies of slavery in the Americas, mainly on slave societies in the British Caribbean. My particular area of expertise is the history of colonial settlers and slaveholders, and I have published work on the social and cultural history of the Jamaican planter class. My new book, Slavery and Revolution: Simon Taylor’s Jamaica and the Transformation of the British Empire, is due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018.
I am a historian of the British Empire. My work focuses on the British encounter and engagement with the wider world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, situating the history of empire in its global and maritime contexts. I am interested in the relationships, interactions and patterns of exchange created by the British Empire, and in assessing the impact of these experiences on both British and colonial societies. Before joining the University of Southampton, I was Curator of Imperial and Maritime History at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. During my time at the museum, I worked on the development and delivery of two gallery projects, focusing on Atlantic and Indian Ocean history respectively. I continue to be interested in the role of material culture and museums in representing the history of empire.
Sheshalatha Reddy is an Associate Professor at Howard University where she teaches colonial and postcolonial British and Anglophone literature. She has published articles in Victorian Literature and Culture and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and edited an anthology entitled Mapping the Nation: An Anthology of Indian Poetry in English, 1870-1920 (2012). Her recent book, British Empire and the Literature of Rebellion: Revolting Bodies, Laboring Subjects (2017) is a a comparative study of the discourses surrounding three roughly mid-nineteenth century rebellions: the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 in India, the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 in Jamaica, and the Fenian Rebellion of 1867 in Ireland. Following the industrial capitalist revolution in England, British imperial capitalism sought to expand its laboring force by attempting to transfigure the oppressed colonized worker into a laboring subject (one whose identity would be created and limited by labor) through the deployment of biopolitics, the disciplinary techniques of states and corporations to manage and regulate populations. Revolting Bodies, Laboring Subjects argues that the supposedly unsuccessful rebellions in India, Jamaica and Ireland can be read as flashpoints in imperial labor history: a moment when the colonized reacted against early attempts by British imperial capitalism to create a new pool of labor for capitalist accumulation in the colonies. These rebellions thus marked a shift in the driving impetus behind revolt against British authority as the colonized now began to resist a new regime of biopower that attempted not merely to exploit them as workers, but to transform them into urban and rural laboring subjects, sources of capitalist accumulation. This transformation would always remain incomplete since it was always resisted to varying degrees by the colonized.
My research areas are contemporary literature with an emphasis on Race and Animal Studies, and more broadly, analyses of power. My true love is for continental philosophy particularly phenomenology, Derrida, and contemporary critiques of bio-politics. Historical theories of colonialism and imperialism and the literature pertaining to British imperialism continue to provide, if not a foundation, certainly a disciplinary roof over my head.
Anglophone & Scottish Gaelic literature; Scottish studies; postcolonial studies; postcolonial theory; diaspora studies; colonial discourse analysis; Black/Asian British literature and culture; anglophone literature from Canada, New Zealand and Africa; the black diaspora and Germany; images of Celticity; film and TV; strategies for teaching transcultural competence in EFL (English as a foreign language) courses.
Ashley Caranto Morford (she/her) is a Pilipina-British scholar-activist. She is currently completing SSHRC-funded doctoral studies in English Literature and Book History at the University of Toronto. Her research and pedagogy is in relationship with and accountable to Indigenous studies, Pilipinx studies, Indigenous-Pilipinx solidarity and coalition building, anti-colonial pedagogies and methods, and digital humanities.