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History ties to Jadavpur University are strengthened by this new partnership.

Emperor Jahangir Triumphing Over Poverty ("Dalidra"), circa 1620-1625. Attributed to Abu'l Hasan.
Credit: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

This richly allegorical and ambivalent painting shows the emperor Jahangir serving justice by eliminating poverty, personified as a dark, pathetic, emaciated old man. The inscribed description above the figures, incorporating a laudatory couplet, reads:

صورت مبارک حزرت اعلی که 
بتیر کرم نشان دالدّررا ازعالم برانداختند و جهانرا بعدل و داد بنایی از نو پاختند

Humanities Sign New Agreement with Jadavpur University

The College of Humanities have entered into a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jadavpur University, focused on developing links in History, English, Drama, Comparative Literature and Film. The new partnership was announced by the British Deputy High Commissioner for Kolkata at the 2018 Global Business Summit, held in Kolkata on 16th and 17th January. 

Jadavpur is regarded as the premier state university in India and enjoys a very strong reputation for Humanities. Exeter’s College of Humanities remains highly active in India and South Asia more broadly, where the South Asia Centre currently has numerous active research projects. This partnership will open up new opportunities for both institutions, encouraging joint research projects, faculty exchanges, and opportunities for PhD students.

The new partnership builds on a number of collaborative links that exist between academics at Exeter and Jadavpur. One such collaboration is the AHRC-funded project Famine and Dearth in India and Britain, 1550-1800: Connected Cultural Histories of Food Security, led by Dr Ayesha Mukherjee of Exeter’s English Department and Professor Amlan Das Gupta of Jadavpur’s Department of English and School of Cultural Texts and Records. The project has created the Famine and Dearth database, which contains searchable transcriptions of over 700 multilingual primary sources relating to situations of famine and dearth in early modern India and Britain. This has proved a unique and important resource, enabling students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences to access and search across a wide array of source materials. As a whole, the project’s activities and follow-on plans can provide insights on contemporary food security issues, helping governments and social scientists to learn from these significant historical resources.

The MoU opens up further valuable opportunities in the field of Digital Humanities. Jadavpur’s School of Cultural Texts and Records specialises in creating digital archives of literary, historical, and audio-visual records, making a wide range of evidence available to scholars. Given the recent opening of Exeter’s £1.2 million pound Digital Humanities Laboratory and the growing number of projects at Exeter focusing on South Asia that rely on the creation of digital resources, there are a number of avenues that will benefit from this partnership.

Professor Andrew Thorpe, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the College of Humanities, said of the new relationship: “Over recent years the College of Humanities has become a major UK centre for research and education on South Asia. We have achieved this, in part, through excellent staff appointments and by the establishment of the Exeter South Asia Centre. But we could not have done it without also establishing significant and enduring partnerships with institutions in the area. That is why I am delighted to welcome this MOU with Jadavpur University in Kolkata. It marks a major step towards our ambition of becoming the key UK institution for arts and humanities research and education on South Asia.”


Date: 19 January 2018

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