The next Research Student Seminar is on Monday, 23 May, Dreyfus Room 6-8pm.
We are delighted to welcome Panikos Panayi, Professor of European History at De Montfort University, who will be speaking about ‘Religion, Race and Nation: Elite German Identities in India, 1815-1920’.
“During the course of the nineteenth century a few thousand Germans, consisting primarily of missionaries, together with scholars, travellers, businessmen and other professionals, made their way to India. While they may have constituted part of European society, they remained a small minority even within this group. This paper will look at the three identities of Germans in India from 1815-1920. For the period until the outbreak of the First World War religion represented the centre of the world for both Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries. Their German identity remained incidental. As the First World War approached a series of organizations tried to claim the miscellaneous Germans as part of the German diaspora, even though their small numbers meant the type of ethnic organizations which existed in other parts of the world did not emerge. Only with the outbreak of the First World War did the Germans become German because of the actions of the Government of India. Reflecting the plight of Germans throughout the British Empire they faced internment and deportation. These acts forced the missionaries in particular to accept German nationhood. This paper will argue that, for most of the nineteenth century, religion came first (certainly for missionaries). While Germans may have formed part of European society, racial interaction meant attitudes to racial difference became complex. Ultimately, the Government of India made the Germans in India German during the First World War.”
Professor Panayi’s profile: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/academic-staff/art-design-humanities/panikos-panayi/panikos-panayi.aspx
The Research Student Seminar is a student-led seminar, convened this year by Guy Beckett and Steffan Blayney. It provides a forum for research students in the History department to meet and question leading historians and thinkers.
The seminars run every fortnight on Monday evenings. For the full programme, visit: https://birkbeckhistoryphd.org/2016/01/14/hca-research-student-seminar-programme-2016/
The seminar’s format is flexible and determined by the guest speaker, but it usually consists of a paper/presentation, followed by an hour for questions/discussion. Afterwards we take the speaker to a nearby restaurant for dinner, where discussion continues more informally.
It is very helpful to have numbers for the meal so please email Guy by mid-day on the day of the seminar if you would like to join us.