This June, the Trinity Long Room Hub will host ‘Ireland – India’, a two day conference that will explore from literary and historical perspectives, interactions between Ireland, England’s oldest colony, and India, the largest colony, from the late seventeenth century.
Three major themes emerge that are often interconnected and, at times, contradictory. First, the important role that the Irish played - especially as bureaucrats and soldiers - in facilitating British rule in India. Second, the extent to which Ireland acted as ‘colonial point of reference’ and how ideologies and ideas and policies fashioned in Ireland were then applied, perhaps in a modified form, in India, often by Irish men or imperialists with experience of ruling Ireland. As well as servants of Empire, the Irish were, especially from the 1880s, subversives within it. The connections between Irish and Indian nationalists, how they inspired each other and how they contributed towards the demise of the British Empire is the final broad theme examined here.
The conference will feature prominent historians from Ireland, the UK and India including Professor Bodh Prakask from the University of Dehli who is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub who will deliver the keynote lecture on ‘Partition and Inter-community Relations in Irish and Indian literary representations’.