Monthly Archives: April 2013

There will  be a meeting of the ETIC research group in the AV Room of the Department of English, Jadavpur University on Tuesday the 30th of April at 3.30pm. The meeting will primarily be a discussion based on presentations by several members of the group who have already begun work on their projects. While this is work in progress, those making presentations have submitted brief abstracts of the material they will be discussing on the 30th:
Sohini Banerjee
New Market (or Hogg Market, named after Sir Stuart Hogg) is my chosen site for research. Since the project stresses specifically on the theme of encounter I’ve tried to centre my research around ideas such as community and conflict, culture and coexistence. Some amount of field work has already been undertaken. About three hours of video and audio footage have been collected from individuals either closely connected to or still plying their trade in the market. Questions revolve around their experiences in the market, their memories of the market and a short history of their trade relations with the market.
Somak Mukherjee
My area of interest lies in the underground of Calcutta. Beneath the bustling metropolis lies another city containing its lifelines: water supply system using the subsurface water, drainage and sewerage system addresing the sanitary needs of the populace and mass rapid transport system (Metro Rail).I intend to trace the development and gradual transformation of these civic infrastructures from Colonial period to modern times and to situate them in the broader frame of establishing Calcutta underground as a fascinating site of encounter.
Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
My area of interest is in games and I think it is interesting to look at the city through the games that are played in it. For instance, it is interesting to note that card games, which are traditionally played indoors, are played on the streets of Kolkata by people belonging to various communities. It is also interesting to look at games played in clubs across the city. The distinction between games played in clubs set up post partition in South Kolkata, and clubs that have a colonial past provide us with interesting examples of spaces of encounter.
Avinash Antony
My idea was to research the “post-mortem encounter” in colonial Calcutta between recently deceased Europeans and the natives who were involved in the burial process. I had wanted to check the records (financial and otherwise) of cemeteries and morgues in Calcutta. I am hoping not only to archive material that is otherwise unavailable (records of how many grave-diggers were employed how many people worked at morgues, what their salaries were, how expensive the burial process was, etc.), but to also catch a glimpse of the experience of the burial ceremony in colonial Calcutta.
Sujaan Mukherjee
I am working on the Bharat Scouts and Guides movement in Kolkata, and along with it the Bengal Bratachari movement, as youth movements – one international and the other nationalist. I am arguing that while these may not be parts of the city in terms of visual objects, they are products of a very urban mindset, and are based inherently on the city-rural binary. A 10-15 minute documentary on these organisations is under process.

PhD Studentship:

If you would like to pursue a PhD that relates to our understanding of the Indian City then please consider applying for this studentship.

Further details can be found on the link above.

The main objectives of ETIC are to examine the following broad areas of inquiry:

(1) how and why the city has functioned as the focus of cross-cultural exchanges in both colonial and post-colonial India;

(2) the nature of the marks that such exchanges have left on the socio-cultural and imaginative identities of the cities in question;

(3) the ways in which they have shaped, and been shaped by, the urban space and the physical fabric of the city in each case; and

(4) the ways in which the nature of such exchanges vary both synchronically, across geographical regions in the same period, and diachronically, across historical periods (sixteenth century till the present).

ETIC involves scholars from English literature, History, Architecture and Modern Languages, with specialisms covering the sixteenth century till the present. The exact PhD topic is open to discussion with potential applicants, but must be related to furthering our understanding of the Indian city. Projects that work across disciplinary boundaries (such as attending to both cultural and spatial/architectural traces of encounter in sixteenth century Goa or twentieth century Pondicherry or Chandigarh, for instance), or those that work across one or more of the selected cities, are especially welcome. Responsibilities will also involve providing some support to the ETIC project, such as helping with meetings, organising reading lists, helping to organise small symposia and gathering source material, uploading data to blog/website.

Applications are invited from students with a good first degree (First, 2:1 or equivalent) or a post-graduate degree in a relevant discipline.

The Doctoral scholarship is available for up to three years full-time study starting on or before September 2013 which will cover the cost of University tuition fees at UK/EU rates, as well as providing tailored early career development training within a thriving intellectual and social community of over 800 researchers and 300 postgraduate researchers.

For more information or to discuss possible research projects further, please contact