Colonial Knowledges: Environment and Logistics in the Creation of Knowledge in British Colonies from 1750 to 1950
27th-28th February 2020, University of Manchester.
Keynote speaker: Professor Javed Majeed, King’s College London.

The effects of colonial power dynamics on knowledge creation in the long nineteenth century and beyond are well known and have become the foundation of a postcolonial reading of British scholarship in the context of empire. What has been less well examined are the practical effects of the colonial context on knowledge making.
This two-day conference seeks to explore how logistical and practical factors, such as the physical environment including climate and distance from the metropole, influenced the creation of both scientific and humanistic knowledge in British colonies.

We invite papers exploring the practicalities of knowledge creation in any British colony, including India and Egypt, from 1750 to 1950. Paper subjects can include but are not limited to:

– Communication and the creation of scholarly networks between colony and metropole
– The formation of learned societies in the colonial setting
– The polymath in a colonial setting: the varied interests of colonial administrators
– The interaction between British scholars and already existing local scholarships and knowledges
– The interaction between British scholars and local scholars
– Interdisciplinary journals and societies created in a colonial context
– The circulation of journals between colony and metropole
– The publishing and editorial environment of the colony
– Acquiring materials and equipment in unfamiliar environments
– Library formation and accessibility; acquisition of literature from the metropole
– The investigation of phenomena specific to an unfamiliar environment (such as weather, flora, fauna)
– The logistics of travel and communication within the colony
– The standardisation and institutionalisation of knowledge in the colony
– Comparing knowledge creation across the colony and metropole

Papers from across the academic disciplines are welcome, and submissions from postgraduate students and early career scholars are especially welcome.

Abstracts of a maximum 250 words for 20 min papers with a short biography should be submitted to [email protected] by 23rd August 2019.