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Last modified: Friday, March 1, 2013

Harvard scholar Maya Jasanoff to speak about 'The Worlds of Joseph Conrad' at IU Bloomington

March 1, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Maya Jasanoff, professor of history at Harvard University's Center for European Studies, will present the second lecture in the 2013 Global Perspectives Speaker Series at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in the Dogwood Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

The author of two books, Jasanoff has focused her teaching and research on modern British and imperial history, with special attention to colonial South Asia, the British Atlantic world and Britain's relations with Europe. Her essays and reviews regularly appear in publications including The New York Review of Books, The Guardian and The New Republic.

Jasanoff's lecture, "The Worlds of Joseph Conrad," is based on a current research project employing Conrad's life and fiction to provide a transcontinental history of the world circa 1900. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public.

"Maya Jasanoff is a scholar of great disciplinary and thematic breadth, with an exquisite eye for speaking to both experts and a broader audience about major historical questions," said Maria Bucur-Deckard, associate dean for international programs at IU's School of Global and International Studies.

"In examining the work and life of Joseph Conrad, Jasanoff will offer a tour de force into the world of this brilliant writer, capturing the complexity of the turn of the century and anticipating some of the defining themes of the 20th century in terms of imperialism and its crisis, as well as globalization," Bucur-Deckard said. "Her talk will enable us to turn our attention from conflict and resolution in the present to the important connections of current problems with the past, and to link the truths that can be best articulated in literature with the messy complexity of historical reality."

The Global Perspectives Speaker Series, an initiative of the new School of Global and International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, explores the theme of "Coexistence and Conflict Mediation Across the Globe" throughout the spring semester.

Jasanoff's first book, "Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850," investigates British expansion in India and Egypt through the lives of art collectors. It was awarded the 2005 Duff Cooper Prize and earned a book-of-the-year selection in numerous British publications, including The Economist, The Observer and The Sunday Times.

Her most recent book, "Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World," provides the first global history of the loyalists who fled the U.S. after the American Revolution and resettled in Canada, the Caribbean, Britain, Sierra Leone and beyond.

Jasanoff has been an ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellow, a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library and a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress.

Lee Hamilton, former chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and director of the IU Center on Congress, delivered the inaugural talk in the series Jan. 29.

Established in 2012, the School of Global and International Studies offers opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and research, providing students with the global competencies needed in the 21st century. The school brings together the expertise of more than 350 core and affiliated faculty members from across the university.