Making India in London: Imperial Internationalism, Atmospheres, and Failures at the Round Table Conferences, 1930-32
Prof. Stephen Legg
School of Geography, University of Nottingham.
Friday, 24th March, 2017
Venue: Seminar Room (First Floor),Department of Sociology, University of Delhi
This paper will re-assemble and re-interpret the archives of the Round Table Conferences (London, 1930-32) which brought British, colonial Indian and Indian nationalist politicians and civil servants together to debate the future of India in the British Empire. Using preliminary research from a four-year research project, it will explore the various scales of analysis necessary to comprehend the complexity of these complex events: imperial autocracy and emergent democracy; national split-sovereignty and potential federation; London as a conference city; and the intimate experience of the fraught conference ‘atmosphere’. The latter was deemed vital to making the conferences work, and the hospitality provided was deemed a success. Yet the conferences were widely viewed as a failure. The paper will explore to what extent the conference form was deployed to produce the calculated, political failure of Indian federalism.
About the Speaker
Stephen Legg is a Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Nottingham. He researches interwar India and has published on Delhi as the colonial capital (Spaces of Colonialism: Delhi’s Urban Governmentalities, 2007) and the scalar politics of prostitution regulation (Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities and Interwar India, 2014). His current projects on interwar geographies focus on the spaces of anticolonialism Delhi and the emergence of international conferences as constitutional, political and cultural spaces.