Afterimages of Empire: Photography, Aesthetics, and Colonialism in Nineteenth Century India


ACLS Fellowship Program



Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


How do our understandings of the age of mechanical reproduction change in light of colonial history? Starting with the Sepoy revolt of 1857, this project analyzes how various genres of colonial photography have engaged with the historical violence that surrounds, subtends, and produces them. The study develops a reading practice that foregrounds the photographs themselves, in a way that addresses their material, aesthetic, and political-historical import. This is an interdisciplinary project that considers archival material of colonial governance, contemporaneous travel accounts, and nineteenth-century Anglo-Indian literature as complements to the rich photographic archive itself.