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Fungible Bodies: Policing Care for the Indian Serviceman in the First World War

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The Inaugural Dennis Showalter Memorial Lecture for an Emerging Scholar  

Please note: this lecture is now taking place on Thursday 3rd March 2022.

About the Lecture

Beginning in 2021, the honour to deliver this lecture will be awarded annually to an outstanding emerging scholar in First World War Studies, selected by the Awards Committee of the International Society for First World War Studies. Dennis Showalter was Professor of History at Colorado College, the author or editor of 16 books and numerous articles, and a former president of the Society for Military History. He believed in rescuing stray cats, the New York Yankees baseball team, and the responsibility of senior scholars to mentor and encourage the next generation. Dennis was also a much loved and valued member of the International Society for First World War Studies, who are delighted to be able to honour his memory through an event which speaks so strongly to the values of collegiality and support for the next generation of First World War scholars.  

The inaugural speaker will be Dr Samraghni Bonnerjee (Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities at Northumbria University). Dr Bonnerjee will speak on the subject of ‘Fungible Bodies’: While Indian soldiers were allowed to fight in the First World War, the colonial state produced copious paperwork, laying out the legislations that controlled and contained their movements, and regulated the dissemination of medical treatment in case of injury or sickness. Drawing on a range of theoretical and methodological frameworks, this lecture will close-read some of these policies to demonstrate how the necropolitical colonial state made the bodies of soldiers of colour available for injury, and formulated legislation that gave the coloniser the right to kill or maim, disseminate or refuse care. Ultimately, it will argue for a rereading of colonial policy as colonial knowledge formation, particularly in the context of the imperial First World War: the stratification of soldier-patients of colour as dispensable bodies excluded from access to adequate care resonates across the context of global warfare in 20th and 21st centuries.  

About the Speaker

View Dr Samraghni Bonnerjee's profile here.

Funded by the International Society for First World War Studies 

To register for this free lecture, please fill in the form below.

Event Details

Lecture theatre 002
Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University
City Campus East
Newcastle upon Tyne


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