Across a wide range of disciplines, the city has long provided a critical site for studying the major social, cultural and intellectual developments in any historical era. The proposed UKIERI project (ETIC) seeks to further our understanding of the crucial role played by Indian cities in negotiating contact between India and the world, and Europe in particular. It brings together a more extensive coverage than has been attempted hitherto outside single-discipline approaches , combining frontline, ‘on-site’ research with a pooling of expertise and access to crucial archival material in both countries, and placing geographically and culturally specific research on Indian cities on the map of global research into the idea of the city. The ETIC team comprises of a wide-ranging group of scholars and institutions from India and the UK, whose work will provide multidisciplinary, regional and historical coverage through its focus on 4 Indian cities (Goa, Kolkata, Pondicherry/Auroville, Chandigarh). 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. These questions will be addressed through a set of interlinked strands of activities, including case studies (resource creation), a series of seminars and symposia (research; network-building), training workshops (post-graduate and early career training; capacity building) and public events (future directions; inclusion; impact).
This project has been generously funded by http://www.ukieri.org