Colonial Knowledges seminar series

deadline for submissions: 
April 11, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Colonial Knowledges

Colonial Knowledges Online Seminar Series 
Every other Wednesday 5PM GMT/BST via Zoom

Call for Papers:

Colonial Knowledges: Environment and Logistics in the Creation of Knowledge in British Colonies from 1750 to 1950.

The effects of colonial power dynamics on knowledge creation in the long nineteenth century and beyond are well known and have become the foundation of a postcolonial reading of British scholarship in the context of empire. What has been less well examined are the practical effects of the colonial context on knowledge making. This seminar series seeks to explore how logistical and practical factors, such as the physical environment including climate and distance from the metropole, influenced the creation of both scientific and humanistic knowledge in British colonies.

For this seminar series we invite papers exploring the practicalities of knowledge creation in any British colony from 1750 to 1950. Paper subjects can include but are not limited to:

  • Communication and the creation of scholarly networks between colony and metropole
  • The formation of learned societies in the colonial setting
  • The polymath in a colonial setting: the varied interests of colonial administrators
  • The interaction between British scholars and already existing local scholarships and knowledges
  • The interaction between British scholars and local scholars
  • Interdisciplinary journals and societies created in a colonial context
  • The circulation of journals between colony and metropole
  • The publishing and editorial environment of the colony
  • Acquiring materials and equipment in unfamiliar environments
  • Library formation and accessibility; acquisition of literature from the metropole  
  • The investigation of phenomena specific to an unfamiliar environment (such as weather, flora, fauna)
  • The logistics of travel and communication within the colony
  • The standardisation and institutionalisation of knowledge in the colony
  • Comparing knowledge creation across the colony and metropole

Papers from across the academic disciplines are welcome. We also welcome work-in-progress papers into what we hope will be a forum for open discussion!

Submit 200-word abstracts for 15 min papers to by 11th April 2021.

Seminars will be composed of one to two fifteen minute papers and discussion time afterwards.