Provincialism at Large: Sukanya Banerjee 13/2/2020

We’re delighted to welcome Prof. Sukanya Banerjee for the first of our 2020 Provincialism at Large events. Prof. Banerjee (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), will be giving a masterclass and evening lecture as a joint event with Royal Holloway Centre for Victorian Studies.


Sukanya Banerjee is the author of Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire (2010, awarded the NVSA Sonya Rudikoff Prize for best first book in Victorian Studies), and the co-editor of New Routes for Diaspora Studies (2012). Her articles have also appeared in journals such as Victorian Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, and Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies.

The masterclass is entitled ‘”Nation”, “Home” and “Empire” in Victorian Studies’, and will be taking place on Thursday 13th February at 2-3pm in Room IN029 (International Building, Egham campus). The talk will be taking place on the same day at 6-7.30pm in the Moore Annexe Lecture Theatre (Egham campus). 

Readings for the masterclass (pdfs below): Burton, A. (1997), Who Needs the Nation? Interrogating ‘British’ History. Journal of Historical Sociology, 10: 227-248. doi:10.1111/1467-6443.00039

Banerjee, Sukanya. “Transimperial.” Victorian Literature and Culture 46, no. 3-4 (2018): 925–28. doi:10.1017/S1060150318001195

Register for free tickets via Eventbrite: 

Masterclass: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/masterclass-nation-home-and-empire-in-victorian-studies-tickets-90520779087.

Evening talk: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sukanya-banerjee-title-tbc-tickets-90521188311.

Lecture 6pm: Colonial Economies, Consumer Loyalty, and the Transimperial

Can the expansive demands of the free market be reconciled with more sedimented yearnings for the “local,” the “provincial”? In revisiting this classic-and abiding question-this talk studies the relation between late-nineteenth-century India and Britain, considering how an idiom of consumer loyalty negotiates the tense relation between free trade and incipient notions of territoriality and nationalism.

Seminars: Provincialism At Large

During 2019-20 the project will be hosting a series of speakers exploring the idea of provincialism, regionalism, and scale across the nineteenth century. The seminars are a collaboration between Royal Holloway Centre for Victorian Studies and Centre for Geohumanities and explore the concepts underlying the project through interdisciplinary conversations, ‘at large’ across the circulating imperial networks of nineteenth-century provincial thinking. We are very grateful to the organisers of the long-running ‘Landscape Surgery’ programme in the Department of Geography for their support in programming this year.

Seminars Autumn Term 2019: 9/10/2019; 19/11/2019 in conjunction with Landscape Surgery

Josephine McDonagh (University of Chicago): ‘Provincialism, Multilingualism and the Novel:  early nineteenth century migration to South America and Jane Eyre

Wednesday 9th October  2019 2-4pm, 11 Bedford Square 1-03

Suggested reading: McDonagh, ‘Rethinking Provincialism in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Fiction: Our Village to Villette’, Victorian Studies 55 (2013): 399-424. doi:10.2979/victorianstudies.55.3.399 http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/victorianstudies.55.3.399 or email ruth.livesey@rhul.ac.uk.

Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire):  ‘Customary rights, property and contested belongings in English commons and village greens, 1795-1965’.

Tuesday 19th November 2019  2-4pm 11 Bedford Square 1.01

Abstract: This paper examines contested customary rights and landownership of commons and village greens in England in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1965 Commons Registration act sought to map definitively the extent of common land and associated rights in England and Wales, but it was a flawed piece of legislation. Its implementation revealed the widespread difficulties of defining a common, its rights and its ownership, much of which has still not been resolved today. Some of those disputes stretched back into the 19th century and earlier. This paper takes as its focus the case studies of the 1795 court case about the village green of Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, and the contested ownership history of Wisley Common, Surrey, from the 19th century through to the 1965 legislation and the present day. It feeds into current academic and popular debates about land reform and legislation. What do such cases tell us about local and regional identities, and popular ideas of the commons and common rights? Why did people still claim common rights in 1965, and today?

Suggested further reading: Fitch vs Rawling, Fitch & Chatteris, 4 Feb. 1795, English Law Review, 126, p. 614-618