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Date(s) - 02/22/2016
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Garrison Hall 4.100

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Workshop: “Structures of Power: Electrification in Colonial India,” by Sunila S. Kale, University of Washington

Monday, February 22 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Garrison Hall (GAR), 4.100 128 INNER CAMPUS DR , Austin, Texas 78705

“Structures of Power: Electrification in Colonial India”

A talk by:

Sunila S. Kale
Chair and Director, South Asian Studies
Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington

“Mirroring the cross-national variation in how electricity became enmeshed in polities and societies around the world in the 20th century, within British India, too, the emerging electric systems differed by fuel source, ownership, and usage. This heterogeneity was a product of decentralized authority over electricity to provincial governments and the ambiguous freedoms of indirect colonial rule. Rather than being governed according to any discreet logic of colonial governance, electric systems became terrains in which a variety of views about the proper role of the state in industrial transformation as well as the suitable means to promote economic development were elaborated. In turn the emergent electrical systems both shaped politics and governance in the late colonial period and left a strong imprint on politics after Independence. If railroads and canals—the quintessential infrastructural technologies of the colonial state—revealed a uniform sense of the state as a particular kind of engine of “development,” the far more messy political economy of electrification displayed a mixed understanding of both governance and the state’s role in the economy.”

Professor Kale’s profile:

Electrifying India: Regional Political Economies of Development (Stanford University Press, 2014), winner of the 2013 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences by the American Institute of Indian Studies:

Sumit Guha
Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History
University of Texas at Austin
Profile: www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/history/faculty/sg7967

Free and open to the public. RSVP required. To RSVP, please email Courtney by 9 a.m., Friday, Feb. 19.