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Translocal Anglo-India and the Multilingual Reading Public

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


This article proposes a new literary history of British Asia that examines its earliest communities and cultural institutions in translocal and regional registers. Combining translocalism and regionalism redefines Anglo‐Indian writing as constituted by multisited forces, only one of which is the reciprocal exchange between Britain and its colonies that has been the prevailing emphasis of literary criticism about empire. I focus on the eighteenth century's overlooked military men and lowlevel colonial administrators who wrote newspaper verse, travel poetry, and plays. I place their compositions in an institutional chronicle defined by the “cultural company‐state,” the British East India Company, which patronized and censored Anglo- India's multilingual reading publics. In the process of arguing for Anglo‐Indian literature as a local and regional creation, I consider the how the terms British and anglophone should function in literary studies of colonialism organized not by hybridity or creolization but by geographic relations of distinction. (JM)

Research Article
Copyright © 2020 James Mulholland

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