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Shakespeare Studies in Colonial Bengal

The Early Phase

Author(s): Hema Dahiya

Book Description

Shakespeare Studies in Colonial Bengal: The Early Phase represents an important direction in the area of historical research on the role of English education in India, particularly with regards to Shakespeare studies at the Hindu College, the first native college of European education in Calcutta, the capital city of British India during the nineteenth century. Focusing on the developments that led to the introduction of English education in India, Dr Dahiya’s book highlights the pioneering role that the eminent Shakespeare teachers at Hindu College, namely Henry Derozio, D.L. Richardson and H.M. Percival, played in accelerating the movement of the Bengal Renaissance. Drawing on available information about colonial Bengal, the book exposes both the angular interpretations of Shakespeare by fanatical scholars on both sides of the cultural divide, and the serious limitations of the present-day reductive theory of postcolonialism, emphasizing how in both cases such interpretations led to distorted readings of Shakespeare. Offering a comprehensive account of how English education in India came to be introduced in an atmosphere of clashing ideas and conflicting interests emanating from various forces at work in the early nineteenth century, Shakespeare Studies in Colonial Bengal places, in a normative perspective, the part played by each major actor in this highly-contested historical context, including the Christian missionaries, British orientalists, Macaulay’s Minute, the secular duo of Rammohan Roy and David Hare, and, above all, the Shakespeare teachers at Hindu College, the first native institution of European education in India.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5310-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5310-0
Date of Publication: 01/12/2013
Pages / Size: 230 / A5
Price: £44.99


Hema Dahiya received her PhD in Shakespeare Studies from Sheffield Hallam University, UK, and has been teaching English Literature at Motilal Nehru College (E), University of Delhi, India, since 2002. As a researcher, she has over a dozen publications in journals of international repute to her credit. Several of her articles have been included in anthologies of new perspectives on Shakespeare. Specific areas of Dr Dahiya’s research include Shakespeare’s Roman plays, comparative literature, and the relationship between colonialism and postcolonialism.