On Wednesday 3rd December, Cleo Roberts presented her current PhD research as part of the Royal Asiatic Society Student Series. Following a paper given by Angela Becher (SOAS) on ‘A Look Behind the Facade: Critical Inquiries into China’s Monumental Architecture in Contemporary Chinese Art’, Cleo spoke on the Ganges and its association with the Baptist missionaries during the nineteenth century. Her paper introduced the river as a key component of this religious campaigning. Using a series of imperial representations and missionary texts, she spoke of Baptist interaction with the site and the particular engagement with Hindu ceremonies at times of illness and death.
The Royal Asiatic Society is a forum for those interested in the study of the history, languages and culture of Asia. The Society was founded in 1823 by Henry Colebrooke a former President of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. Colebrooke was an influential member of British Calcuttan society and is accredited with being the pioneer of Indian scholarship in Europe. He donated numerous materials to the India Office Library (now held at the British Library).