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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.

Contact Information

Telephone: 91(0)11 27667858
Address: Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, 
University of Delhi (North Campus)
Delhi - 110007

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