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Author: Southhem

Glossing the Colonial Book Catalogue

Glossing the Colonial Book Catalogue

One of the major outcomes of the first stage of the SouthHem project has been the creation of our digital archive of book catalogues from the colonial southern hemisphere. Ranging in date from 1786 to 1870, our archive now includes 444 catalogues from South Africa, the Australian colonies and New Zealand, and the Strait Settlements, many of which have been digitised by the project and made widely available for the first time here. Over the last year, the SouthHem team has…

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British Roots in Australian Soil: Forby Sutherland, Death and the Nineteenth Century Nation

British Roots in Australian Soil: Forby Sutherland, Death and the Nineteenth Century Nation

The first British man to be buried in Australian soil was a Scottish sailor.  Forby Sutherland was an Orcadian sailor who was part of the crew of Captain Cook’s voyage to New South Wales in 1770.  A casualty of the late eighteenth-century push by European nations to explore and colonise the South Seas, Sutherland would almost certainly have left little mark on history or literature, another sailor lost at sea, were it not for the extraordinary location of his dissolution….

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Malay and Chinese Readers in Nineteenth-Century Singapore

Malay and Chinese Readers in Nineteenth-Century Singapore

In 1878, the President of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Archdeacon Hose, noted ‘a not too keen appetite for reading’ among the Malay population in Singapore, concluding that with the advent of printed books ‘manuscripts (never very numerous) are likely to be less prized, and more rarely copied; and many will be lost forever, unless an effort is made to discover them’ (Hose 1878: 9). Hose’s comment, delivered in his inaugural address to the Society, shows no…

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Digital Cultures, Big Data and Society

Digital Cultures, Big Data and Society

On 15-16 February 2018, the SouthHem team attended a conference on “Digital Cultures, Big Data and Society” organized by Prof. Emilie Pine, UCD School of English, Drama and Film. Industrial Memories Before raising some of the ideas that emerged from the conference papers, I’d like to foreground Prof. Pine’s launch of her, Prof. Mark Keane, and Dr. Susan Leavy’s important project “Industrial Memories”, funded by the Irish Research Council New Horizons 2015. The project provides a digital and searchable version…

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Cultural Geographies of the Colonial Southern Hemisphere: Thoughts and Reflections

Cultural Geographies of the Colonial Southern Hemisphere: Thoughts and Reflections

by Dr. Fariha Shaikh  The ‘Cultural Geographies of the Colonial Southern Hemisphere’ conference was a stimulating two days of rigorous discussion: the carefully curated programme meant that papers spoke both to each other and across panels, allowing us to explore productively the analytical and methodological overlaps, connections and contentions between them. Forgoing the traditional opening plenary speech, the conference opened instead with two panels on methodologies: What are the frameworks and analytical tools with which we begin to explore the idea of the…

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Cultural Geographies of the Colonial Southern Hemisphere: Closing Remarks

Cultural Geographies of the Colonial Southern Hemisphere: Closing Remarks

Some brief and informal notes of my closing remarks delivered with thanks to a fantastic group of participants at the recent “Cultural Geographies of the Colonial Southern Hemisphere” conference at UCD. Southness Elleke Boehmer opened the conference by thinking about the “South” or “Southness” not just as place but also as direction or perspective. As she pointed out, we can understand the South not only in terms of locatedness (“writing from”) but also in terms of directionality (“writing to”). The…

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Institutions of Literature: Networks

Institutions of Literature: Networks

The SouthHem team recently participated in a two-day workshop on the subject, “Institutions as Networks” held by the AHRC-funded ‘Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900’ research network. The diverse range of papers and the productive closing roundtable raised numerous questions of pertinence to the SouthHem research project: Definition: A central task of the workshop was to establish a working definition of the word, “institution”, specifically in relation to networks. When, for example, does a network become an institution? Does it depend on physical…

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De-territorializing Britishness In Colonial South Africa

De-territorializing Britishness In Colonial South Africa

  In his landmark study of the idea of ‘Greater Britain’ in imperial discourse, Duncan Bell identified three different meanings ascribed to the term by nineteenth century political thinkers after 1870. In some conceptions, it included the ‘totality of the British empire’, including Britain’s expanding African empire and, the jewel in Victoria’s crown, India. [Bell, 7] However, more commonly, ‘Greater Britain’ was conceived along racial lines, as an Anglo-Saxon polity which encompassed the settlement colonies and, in some formulations, the…

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A report from the Victorian gold fields

A report from the Victorian gold fields

How do you establish the existence of a literary institution’s collection when none of the early records have survived? How can you trace the circulation of books without a catalogue or accession records? How do you determine the way an institution was managed if the committee minutes have disappeared? These are some of the questions I have been trying to answer during my research trip to country Victoria. As part of my SouthHem case study I have been visiting the…

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Colonial Capital and Imperialist Time: Harry Harootunian on the Ontology of the Historical Present

Colonial Capital and Imperialist Time: Harry Harootunian on the Ontology of the Historical Present

Harry Harootunian’s fascinating article ‘Remembering the Historical Present’ (2007) is a blistering critique of the banalities of modernization theory; the poverty of spatial configurations for understanding the global world order; and the problems of national borders and methodologies in historical and area studies. Reading the article, I was struck by the way in which Harootunian places temporality at the centre of understandings of colonialism, modernity, and capitalism. Harootunian sees the (often violent) encounters between indigenous and European populations in the…

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