Third Lord Macaulay Lecture at Rothley Temple on 9 January!
19 December 2018
Abstract of the Lecture
Professor Javed Majeed (KCL) Macaulay and the question of the English language in India
This lecture will address Macaulay’s (in)famous 1835 Minute on Education. Rather than seeing this Minute as an expression of power and narrow-mindedness alone, the lecture will consider the distinctive anxieties about colonial rule and the English language, which underlie the Minute, as well as some of its contradictions. It will contextualise the ideas in the Minute in relation to some of Macaulay’s other writings, in which he grappled with the meanings of the term ‘English’, and will also consider it in relation to his larger ideas about nation, family, home, and ‘progress’. The lecture will end by exploring some aspects of colonial English in India, and what this says about the British sense of their identity in India as well as their sense of their ‘own’ language during the age of British global expansion.