We’re writing this editorial at a momentous time for Anglo-Indian Studies, with four workshops and conferences in one year! All of these are/were in India: In January one was held at Jadavpur University and another at the University of Calcutta. In August another was organized at IIT Madras, and a fourth was hosted by the Derozio Anglo-Indian Research Collection in Kolkata at the University of Calcutta. Many of the presentations are from scholars new to the field, which testifies to a growing interest in Anglo-Indian Studies. IJAIS offers these scholars an opportunity to have their research informed work published in this open-access and peer reviewed format. We look forward to seeing some of these presentations become articles in future publications.
We are pleased to publish this issue of the journal, which presents two articles based on original research, an interview with a prominent Anglo-Indian philanthropist and publisher, and a book review of a recent and important book on the community’s lengthy history.
The articles include Rochelle Almeida’s, which extends the ‘Anglo-Indians in Small Towns of India’ theme, which we presented in a special issue last year (IJAIS Vol. 16, No. 1). Her work examines literature (both fiction and non-fiction) that delineates small-town Anglo-Indian life in the pre-Independence era, including life in boarding schools. She draws on literature and interviews with first generation Anglo-Indians in the UK, to argue that time and distance may add enchantment and/or disillusionment to their memories of earlier life in railways towns in India.
The second article is by Jyothsna Latha Belliappa and Sanchia deSouza. Through life story interviews they explores the relationship between gender, cultural, and professional identities amongst Anglo-Indian women employed as school teachers in Bengaluru (Bangalore). They look particularly at the considerable agency these teachers enjoyed as they mobilised their social and cultural capital to pursue careers teaching in sought-after English medium minority schools. At the same time they argue that their agency could also be circumscribed by gender and community identity.
Next is an interview of Blair Williams by journalist Rudy Otter. Williams explains the motivations behind, as well as the mechanics of, producing the eight book series on Anglo-Indians from 2002 to 2016, which financially benefitted the Anglo-Indian charity that Williams founded, Calcutta Tiljalah Relief (CTR).
The final piece is a book review by Cheryl-Ann Shivan, of S. Muthiah and Harry MacLure’s The Anglo-Indians: A 500-Year History (2014). She endorses it as a very valuable reference work, spanning the community from its genesis to current times.
We look forward to publishing from this year’s conferences and workshops, as well as publishing book reviews of recent works in the area of Anglo-Indian Studies. Please contact us with submissions and any queries about submissions.
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