European Research Commission (ERC); Charu Gupta (Delhi University, Delhi), Nitin Varma (Humboldt University, Berlin), Nitin Sinha (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin)
Venu: Delhi University
The history of domestic servants and service in South Asia is an under-researched field. In spite of the ubiquity in both historical and contemporary periods, various strands of history writing – labour, family, socio-cultural – have largely kept servant an invisible subject. This conference, which is part of the European Research Commission (ERC) funded project on ‘Domestic Servants in colonial South Asia’ invites papers to fill in this historiographical gap.
The organizers major thrust in this conference is to address the history of servants in two broad ways: one, in the relational way that covers the range of forms of relationships instituted and produced between masters and servants and between employers and employees. These include legal and regulatory frameworks, ties of (fictive and constructed) kinship, slavery-servitude continuum, and gender, caste and religious norms and practices. Of course, the major site of locating the changing historical meanings and practices of all the above is the household. The organizers are keen to explore servants’ pasts in a range of households which for heuristic purposes could be classified as: native urban elites, European, rural elites, mercantile households and households of lesser means. Read more and source … (Web)