History events at the IHR

An unmanageable Commodity to have imported into this white Country: Growing up Mixed-Race in India and Scotland, 1780-1830

14 January 2014, 17:15 - 19:15

Event Type: Seminar


Ellen Filor, (University College London)


This talk seeks to engage with the experiences of mixed-race children brought to Scotland from India in the Georgian period. Taking the example of three Scottish brother-in-laws allows an indepth study of this global childhood and the tactics employed to manage their mixed-race children. Using the familial letters written by returned East India Company servants and latterly the letters of the children themselves, I want to look at the mixed-race children sent to provincial Scotland from 1780 to 1820.  Following the mixed-race child from India to the metropole reveals one of often hidden aspects of colonial family life. It also reveals the manifold tensions in the imperial project. Taking the period prior to the Victorian era and looking at mixed-race children in the Borders allows examination of a period when racial boundaries were less strictly drawn. This talk will also explore the childhood these children in the metropole experienced: in the home, the schoolyard and the toys they played with. I intend to use the voices of the mixed-race children themselves as young adults using the familiar letters, allowing an examination of how these 'global' Scots came to terms with their race in Scotland and elsewhere.

Please note:  it has been necessary to move the venue of this session to Room G21A, on the ground floor.  We apologize for the short notice.

Venue: Room G21a (Ground Floor)

South Block, Senate House 
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU 

Related Events: Life-Cycles History