British Association for South Asian Studies

News & Events

19 December 2018

Event: Nijmegen

Workshop: 'Colonial Institutions and the Uses of Law in Early Modern South Asia', Radboud University, Nijmegen

28 January 2019

As the first in the newly founded 'Indian Ocean World in the 18th Century'- (IOW18) Workshop Series, this one-day workshop seeks to complicate teleological readings of law and its relationship to colonial institutions and state-making by drawing on contexts beyond and before British domination in the Indian subcontinent and the Indian Ocean World. By evoking the ‘uses of law’ we hope to capture both the constraints and opportunities the creation of colonial institutions posed for a wide range of people, whether colonial administrators, local elites, merchants, farmers or widows. For more information on the program and abstracts, as well as the registration, click here

The workshop will be concluded by a public lecture by Dr. Nandini Chatterjee (University of Exeter): Signs and Words. Coded Expressions of Self and Authority in Legal Documents from Mughal India (Radboud University Nijmegen, January 28, 2019)

Full programme:

9u Welcome (Dries Lyna)
9u10 Panel 1 - Colonial Families and the Law
Witnessing Gender, Testifying Race. Mistresses, Midwives and other 'Native' Women in Hyde Papers
Ruchika Sharma (University of Delhi, India)
Conjugal Conflict in Colonial Court. The Legal Recourse of Spouses in 18th-Century Cochin
Sophie Rose (Leiden University, Netherlands)
A Code Noir for Bengal? Race, Sex, Slavery and the French imperial Constitution
Leonard Hodges (King’s College London, UK)

11u Panel 2 - Merchants, Commerce and Courts
Commercial Brokers as Legal Agents. Nested Legality in Pondichéry
Danna Agmon (Virginia Tech, USA)
Armenian Merchants and the Mayor’s Court of Fort St George, Madras in the Early 18th Century
Bhaswati Bhattacharya (Georg-August-Universität Gottingen, Germany)
Testimony, Petitions and Recourse. Hindu Merchants in 18th-Century Portuguese India
Noelle Richardson (Leiden University, Netherlands)

13u30 Panel 3 - Piracy in the Western Indian Ocean
Contesting Legal Sovereignties at Sea. The Pass and Early-Modern Bombay
Derek Elliot (Al Akhawayn University, Morocco)
European Companies, Indian Merchants and ‘Negotiating Legality’ in 18th-Century Western India
Vijayant Singh (University of Delhi, India)

14u45 Panel 4 - Colonial Categories and Legal Pluralism
Utilising the Colonial Register? ‘Social Affordance’ of Rural Law in 18th-Century Dutch Sri Lanka
Luc Bulten (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands)
‘Gens de Chapeau’. Legal Pluralism and Social Diversity in 18th-Century Pondichéry
Anna Donecke (Universität Bielefeld, Germany)
Everyday Colonial Realities. Social Categories and Legal Self-Identification In Dutch Sri Lanka
Dries Lyna (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands)
16u15 Closing Words and Final Discussion (Alicia Schrikker, Leiden University, Netherlands)
17u Signs and Words. Coded Expressions of Self and Authority in Legal Documents from Mughal India (Nandini Chatterjee, University of Exeter, UK)