April - June 2018.
'"To Notice and Record": Alexander Walker's vernacular botany of the Malabar Coast.'
Abstract: During my fellowship period, I will explore the extensive manuscript collections of Alexander Walker of Bowland (1764-1831) held at the National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh University Library in the context of recent work on geography and colonial administration. Walker was an East India Company administrator in what became the modern Indian states of Kerala and Gujarat, and his archives include profusely-illustrated journals of local games and pastimes, religious customs, and medicinal plants and treatments. During my fellowship period, I will seek to answer the questions, What do we see when we look at the Malabar Coast through Walker's eyes? How did administrators like him forge their own vernacular geographies within the colonial landscape? To what extent did they frame it in terms of British Imperial goals? To what extent did they frame it in terms of local, regional or national concerns?
Bio: Lisa Rosner is Distinguished Professor of History at Stockton University, New Jersey, USA. She received her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University and her AB from Princeton University. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Recent publications include The Anatomy Murders (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) and Vaccination and Its Critics (ABC-Clio, 2016).