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Padma Rangarajan on Romantic Terror

Please join us on Monday, April 22nd at 5.15pm for a discussion of Padma Rangarajan’s paper “Strange Revolutions: Shifting the Borders of Romantic Terror.”

Please contact Rachel Buurma or Kate Thomas for a copy of the paper.

Padma writes:

In 1794, in a fit of despair, Edmund Burke wrote a letter to a friend expressing his conviction that, “Our Government and our Laws are beset by two different Enemies, which are sapping its foundations, Indianism and Jacobinism. In some Cases they act separately, in some they are in conjunction; But of this I am sure; that the first is the worst by far, and the hardest to deal with…” This paper is about that first and weirdly opaque evil, “Indianism,” and how Burke’s unholy union of Indianism and Jacobinism is a fruitful place to look for the origins of modern terrorism discourse.

Padma Rangarajan is assistant professor of Global Nineteenth Century British Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her interests include include literature of empire, travel literature, religion, translation studies, and colonial epistemologies. She has taught courses on Romantic, Victorian, and postcolonial literature, detective fiction, terrorismand the history of race. Her first book Imperial Babel: Translation, Exoticism, and the Long Nineteenth Century (Fordham UP 2014) explores translation’s complex role in shaping literary and political relationships between India and Britain. Her current project, Thug Life: The British Empire and the Birth of Terrorism, is a study of the roots of modern terrorism through an examination of the legal and cultural legacy of the British Empire in the nineteenth century, and has been supported by a fellowship from the Stanford Humanities Center.

We meet at the Center for the Humanities at Temple University on Temple’s main campus, Gladfelter Hall, 10th floor; you will find directions here: http://www.cla.temple.edu/chat/about/directions/