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Disque Hall, Room 109, 32 South 32nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19135


  • Everyone

Special Features

  • Free Food

Dean's Seminar: From Marshy Wetlands to Property: How Economy and Ecology Shaped Colonial Calcutta

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3:30 PM-5:00 PM

Learn about the exciting research being done by faculty in all departments of the College of Arts and Sciences!


Speaker: Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD
Department: History and Politics

Does cartography have any relation to law or economy? Yes, since one of the primary impetuses for map-making was deciphering the relations between territory, authority and belonging. Geographical surveys conducted in colonial India were central to understanding forms of existing property ownership and devising methods of revenue collection.

This talk explores how a complex set of human-land-water relations was translated into a recognizable language of property in colonial Calcutta. It argues that developments in legal and economic thought in British India played an important role in shaping how one understood, measured and taxed particular ecological features in the active delta where Calcutta was located to eclipse older authorities and produce distinctly modern forms of property relations.

The College of Arts and Sciences' Dean's Seminars are free and open to the Drexel community. Light refreshments will be served.

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