Research Interests: British Imperial History, Political History, History of Ideas, Theory of History
Geographical Area: United Kingdom, India
Current Project:Colonial Crisis and national-imperial Identity. The "Sepoy Mutiny" 1857 and national and imperial discourse in the United Kingdom.
This research project focuses on the so-called „Sepoy Mutiny“, a military crisis in British India in 1857, which has been perceived as a „national“ and an „imperial“ crisis. It had an invigorating effect on discourses about nation and empire and shaped the relationship between the Empire and „Nations within the Empire“ in many ways.
How did concepts of nation and empire and their relationship to each other develop bevor the outbreak of the „Mutiny“ since the 16th century? What was the situation of other nations (for example the Scottish and Irish) within the British Empire? Were there elements of an emerging „Indian Nation“ or something comparable during the events of 1857? What was perceived as „national“ and „imperial“? Were there interesction in the semantics of these terms and how did this change due to the „Indian Mutiny“? Was this event perceived in the United Kingdom as the beginning of an „Indian Nationalism“ and a danger for the imperial future? What were the roles of former imperial crises in that context? In what kind of framework did processes of identification and alteration take place? These and other questions are at the center of an analysis, which rests on a variety of different sources, including parliamentary debates, records of the east india corporation, novels, plays and pictures.