University of Glasgow

May 12-13, 2017

Call for Papers / Proposal deadline, 1 December 2016

We invite papers for a conference under the auspices of the British Academy funded project, Second Cities in the Circuits of Empire: Glasgow, Calcutta and the Legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Papers and panel proposals for a two-day conference to be held at the University of Glasgow, 12-13 May 2017, may focus broadly on theoretical issues of cultural and economic exchange or on particular historical institutions, actors and events. Second Cities explores the relationships between Glasgow and Calcutta; Scotland and Bengal.

The conference will be the culmination of a three-year partnership between Glasgow University and the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC) with generous assistance from Presidency College, Kolkata. The project has already brought together participants from India, Britain, North America, Europe and Australia. We anticipate broad international participation in 2017.

The conference will also include a special workshop for postgraduate and early career researchers.

Papers may address any aspect of the connections between Scotland and Bengal (and beyond) and should articulate the ways colonial actors exchanged knowledge, worked together, or resisted each other in the circuits of empire. We invite wide-ranging, innovative and interdisciplinary approaches.  Topics might include, but are not limited to, such areas as:

  • Literary influences, including the presence of Scottish writing in Indian periodicals or the ways that Indian writers appropriated and altered the work of Scottish authors, and vice versa. The circulation of print.
  • The transnational circulation of spectacles such as panoramas, theatrical performance, painting; international exhibitions; Bengali music; or other art forms.
  • Botanical and medical knowledge exchange, investigation and cataloguing,
  • Educational institutions and practices in India and Scotland.
  • Analysis of networks of political patronage, religious or missionary endeavors.
  • Economic connections between Scotland and India.


Papers will be considered for inclusion in a volume now in preparation. Queries and proposals may be sent to Mary Ellis Gibson, Professor of English, Colby College, Waterville, Maine (US).

Proposals should be limited to 500 words and accompanied by a brief (two-page) cv.  Both panel proposals (three participants, plus a chair) and individual proposals are welcome.

Proposal deadline: 1 December 2016. 

 Sponsors of the project include the British Academy, Glasgow University, The Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta (CSSSC), Colby College, and Presidency University, Kolkata.