Photo of Apurba Chatterjee.Apurba Chatterjee

Title: Imaging Authority: A Study of the Visual Representations of the Early British Indian Empire (1730-1820).

Period: 1500-1800

Funded by: Faculty of Arts and Humanities Scholarship

Start year: 2015

Email: AChatterjee2@sheffield.ac.uk

Primary: Professor Phil Withington | Secondary: Dr Saurabh Mishra

Research

Academic Background

  • M.A. (Research) History, Uppsala University, Sweden, 2015
  • M.A. (Taught) History, University of Calcutta, India, 2012
  • B.A. (Hons.) History, Presidency College, India, 2010

Research Topic

My research undertakes a systematic analysis of relationship between visual arts and political power within the context of early British empire in India. It investigates the role of images in the creation and consolidation of British imperialism. Whilst existing scholarship has recognized the importance of arts as a medium of laying imperial claims on Indian life and landscapes, my research approaches this field by trying to nuance the understanding of the assertion of British power over India. In doing so, my aim is to examine how the legitimacy of British Indian empire came to be constructed through imagery in tandem with contemporary political discourse. In other words, I study the symbolic process whereby India came to be fabricated as a part of the British empire.

Publications

Conference Papers

  • June 2017: Presented paper titled, 'A Memsahib’s Natural World: : Lady Mary Impey's Collection of Natural History Paintings', at the 17th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities, held at Hofstra University in Hempstead NY, USA
  • May 2017: Co-organizer of White Rose South Asia Network's inaugural graduate workshop, 'Futures Past: South Asia Now and Then', held at the University of Leeds
  • May 2017: Presented Paper titled, 'Imaging Imperialism: A Study of Political Authority and Legitimacy in Early British Indian Empire' at White Rose South Asia Network's inaugural graduate workshop, ‘Futures Past: South Asia Now and Then’, held at the University of Leeds
  • January 2017: Presented paper titled, 'Imagery, Governance, and Political Legitimacy in Early British India' at the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Annual Conference, held at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford
  • March 2016: Presented Paper titled, 'Imaging Imperialism: A Study of Early British India through the paintings of Thomas and William Daniell' at a joint workshop organised by Uppsala University, Sweden and The University of Sheffield in Sheffield
  • March 2016: Presented paper titled, 'Authoritarian or authoritative? Visualising early British India in the paintings of Thomas and William Daniell' at the conference of Social History Society, held at Lancaster University
  • January 2016: Presented paper titled 'Imaging Royalty: A Study of the Representation of George III of Great Britain in his Portraits and Caricatures' at the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Annual Conference, held at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford
  • April 2015: Presented paper titled 'Picturing Monarchy: A Study of the Representation of George III in his Portraits and Caricatures' at the SALT and HDR Conference, Pennies, places, and power. Displays of Power and Authority in Premodern and Early Modern times, Uppsala University
  • April 2015: Presented master's thesis project, 'Imaging Royalty: A Study of the Manifestation of Authority under George III of Britain in his Portraits and Caricatures' at Master Research Workshop, organized by the research node in Early Modern Cultural History, Uppsala University and Rijks Universiteit, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • October 2014: Presented paper titled 'Pictures of Power: Envisaging early British Presence in Bengal' at the Third Conference on Bengal Related Studies for Students and Young Scholars, Martin Luther University, HalleWittenberg, Germany
  • April 2014: Presented paper titled 'Imaging Authority: The Early British Presence in Bengal, 1756-1793' at the British Association of South Asian Studies Conference, London
  • December 2013: Participant in international workshop titled Materiality and Objects, organized by the research node in Uppsala in collaboration with Queen Mary, University of London

Journal Articles

'Places and Spaces of Power: Early British India in the eyes of Thomas and William Daniell' in Karen Harvey and Mikael Alm (eds) Powers of Description: Language and Social History in the Long Eighteenth Century (forthcoming)

Book Reviews

Priya Maholay, Fashioning a National Art (OUP, 2016), in Routledge journal South Asian History and Culture (forthcoming)

Teaching

Teaching

To follow.

Public Engagement

Blog Posts

Blog posts for Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies

In The Media

To follow.

Affiliations and Awards

Professional Affiliations

  • May 2017: Co-organiser of White Rose South Asia Network’s inaugural graduate workshop, ‘Futures Past: South Asia Now and Then’, held at the University of Leeds
  • 2015 to Present- Postgraduate Member of British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies
  • 2015 to Present- Postgraduate Member of White Rose Network of South Asian Studies
  • Member of interdisciplinary research node, Early Modern Cultural History, Uppsala University.

Awards

  • Royal Historical Society award for research in the US, 2017
  • Bursary from British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies for support towards attending British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Annual Conference, 2017
  • Conference paper titled, ‘Imagery, Governance and Political Legitimacy in Early British India’ nominated for British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies President’s Prize, 2017
  • Neil Armstrong Bursary awarded by Social History Society for support towards attending Social History Society Annual Conference, 2016
  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities PhD Scholarship, The University of Sheffield, 2015-2018
  • Resemedel (travelling scholarship for research), Kungliga Humanistiska Vetenskaps Samfundet i Uppsala (The Royal Society of Arts), Uppsala, 2014
  • Henrik and Hans Park Scholarship for Outstanding academic achievements, Västmanlands Dala Nation, Uppsala University, 2014
  • Johan Samuel Löfberg Scholarship for outstanding academic achievements, Västmanlands Dala Nation, Uppsala University, 2017
  • Palme Scholarship for studies at Uppsala University, Swedish Institute, 2012
  • Chandra Narayan Memorial Silver Medal for highest marks in History (first class first) in MA examination, Presidency College (now University), 2012
  • University of Calcutta Gold Medal for highest marks in History, 2012
  • Professor Hemchandra Ray Chaudhuri Memorial Prize for outstanding academic achievements, University of Calcutta, 2010
  • Professor Kalyan Kumar Dasgupta Memorial Scholarship for securing highest marks in History (first class first) in BA examination, University of Calcutta, 2010