Date: Jan­u­ary, 30 – 31, 2015. 

Organ­ised by:

  • Prof. Dr. Ravi Ahu­ja, Uni­ver­sität Göt­tin­gen, Cen­tre for Mod­ern Indi­an Stud­ies (CeMIS)
  • Dr. Heike Liebau, Zen­trum Mod­ern­er Ori­ent (ZMO) Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Mann, Hum­boldt-Uni­ver­sität zu Berlin, Insti­tut für Asien- und Afrikawis­senschaften (IAAW)

Down­load the pro­gramme as PDF.


Friday, 30.01.2015

09.30 – 09.45 Michael Mann, Berlin
9.45 – 10.30 Ravi Ahu­ja, Göttingen
Intro­duc­ing MIDA
10.30 – 12.30
Panel 1 — Moderation: Ravi Ahuja
10.30 – 11.15 Lydia Hauth, Leipzig [P] A Ger­man Researcher in India – Egon von Eickstedt‘s Col­lec­tion at the State Ethno­graph­ic Col­lec­tions of Saxony
11.15 – 11.45 Cof­fee Break
11.30 – 12.30 Jah­navi Phalkey, Lon­don [P]

12.30 – 15.00

Panel 2 — Moderation: Martin Christof-Füchsle
12.30 – 13.15 Adam Jones, Leipzig [R]
14.15 – 15.00 Armin Grün­bach­er, Birm­ing­ham [P] Ger­man Con­ser­v­a­tives, India and the Hall­stein Doc­trine. A doc­u­ment from the Chancellery
15.00 – 17.00
Panel 3 — Moderation: Anandita Bajpai
15.00 – 15.45 Chen Tzoref-Ashke­nazi, Berlin [P] Archival Sources on the Hanover­ian Reg­i­ments in India: The Nieder­säch­sis­ches Lan­desarchiv in Hanover
15.45 – 16.15 Cof­fee Break
16.15 – 17.00 Van­dana Joshi, Berlin [P] Between Era­sure and Remem­brance: Shreds from the Kriegsall­t­ag of South Asian Fau­jis (Sipahis) in Stamm­lagern, Arbeit­skom­man­dos, Lazaret­ten and Graves (1939–45)
17.00 – 18.30
Panel 4 — Moderation: Anandita Bajpai
17.00 – 17.45 Joachim Oester­held, Berlin [R]
17.45 – 18.30 Georg Met­zig (Regens­burg) [P] All­t­ag und Mis­sion. Deutschsprachige Jesuit­en im por­tugiesis­chen Wel­tre­ich (1616–1773)

Saturday, 31.01.2015

9.00 – 10.30
Panel 5 — Moderation: Anna Sailer
9.00 – 9.45 Mri­nali­ni Sebas­t­ian, Philadel­phia [P] The Oth­er Sto­ry of Indol­o­gy: Euro­pean Mis­sion­ar­ies and the Glob­al Jour­neys of Ver­nac­u­lar Knowledge
9.45 – 10.30 Diethelm Wei­de­mann, Berlin [R]
10.30 – 11.00 Cof­fee Break
11.00 – 12.30
Panel 6 — Moderation: Heike Liebau
11.00 – 11.45 Key­van Dja­hangiri, Berlin [P] ‘Cen­tres of Cal­cu­la­tion’ or Dead End? Ear­ly Mod­ern Mate­r­i­al on ‘India’ in Ger­man Archives
11.45 – 12.30 Brit­ta Kloster­berg, Halle [P] Die Quellen zur Dänisch-Halleschen Mis­sion im Archiv der Franck­eschen Stiftungen
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch Break
13.30 – 15.30
Panel 7 — Moderation: Michael Mann
13.30 – 14.15 Ajay Bharad­waj, Raghaven­dra Rao Karkala Vasude­va­iah and Anne Mur­phy, Van­cou­ver [P] Ear­ly films/images in and about India: The Ger­man Lens
14.15 – 15.30 Deb­jani Bhat­tacharyya, Philade­phia [P] The Influ­ence of Ger­man Town Plan­ning in British India: Trac­ing the Her­itage of Lex Adikes
15.30 – 16.00 Cof­fee Break
16.00 – 17.00
Panel 8 — Moderation Heike Liebau
17.00 – 17.15 Frank Drauschke, Berlin [R]
17.15 – 18.00 Heike Liebau, Berlin
Round table dis­cus­sion: Where do we go from here?


Lydia Hauth 

Staatliche Ethno­graphis­che Samm­lun­gen Sach­sen (SES) / Staatliche Kun­st­samm­lun­gen Dres­den (SKD))

A German Researcher in India – Egon von Eickstedt’s Collection at the State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony

In 1926 Egon von Eick­st­edt, a Ger­man phys­i­cal anthro­pol­o­gist, was sent out on a 2 years expe­di­tion to India by the Muse­um of Ethnog­ra­phy, Leipzig and the State Research Insti­tute for Eth­nol­o­gy in Leipzig in order to recon­struct the his­to­ry of ear­ly set­tle­ment in South Asia. Dur­ing the expe­di­tion he col­lect­ed anthro­po­log­i­cal data and ethno­graph­ic objects and sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly doc­u­ment­ed the vis­it­ed com­mu­ni­ties with his camera.

This col­lec­tion – con­sist­ing of cir­ca 11,000 pho­tographs, about 2,000 objects, pub­li­ca­tions and 7 diaries which were writ­ten by the researcher dur­ing his jour­ney – is in the pos­ses­sion of the State Ethno­graph­ic Col­lec­tions of Sax­ony (SES). The major part of the objects and pho­tographs were col­lect­ed dur­ing the researcher’s vis­it at dif­fer­ent indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties in India.

Where­as the objects and pub­li­ca­tions have always been in the pos­ses­sion of the SES, v. Eickstedt’s pho­tographs and diaries had been declared lost after World War II and were only dis­cov­ered after the death of the researcher. In the year 2003 the pho­tographs and diaries were hand­ed over to the SES to be pre­served and pub­lished. After more than half a decade the col­lec­tion is joined by now and avail­able for fur­ther research.

Some of the mate­r­i­al has already been pub­lished by schol­ars and a num­ber of small projects were con­duct­ed on the basis of the col­lec­tion. The long term aim is to make the col­lec­tion dig­i­tal­ly acces­si­ble to researchers and oth­er audiences.
The pho­tographs along with the col­lect­ed ethno­graph­ic objects, diaries and pub­li­ca­tions pro­vide insights into v. Eickstedt’s schol­ar­ship and the way anthro­po­log­i­cal knowl­edge was gath­ered in the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. V. Eickstedt’s method­ol­o­gy is cer­tain­ly out­dat­ed and eth­i­cal­ly high­ly con­tro­ver­sial but despite this, the col­lec­tion is an extreme­ly valu­able source for researchers as well as for indige­nous peo­ple them­selves to recon­struct his­to­ry, ear­ly rela­tions and the process of Hin­duiza­tion. Togeth­er with sim­i­lar col­lec­tions such as Christoph von Für­er-Haimen­dorf (SOAS, Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don), and William Archer (MAA, Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty) the v. Eick­st­edt col­lec­tion is one of the most com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­men­ta­tion of indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties in India. It fur­ther presents unique mate­r­i­al on the encounter of Europe with India.


Armin Grünbacher 

Dept. of His­to­ry, Uni­ver­si­ty of Birm­ing­ham, UK

German Conservatives, India and the Hallstein Doctrine. A document from the Chancellery

As a lead­ing coun­try of the Non-Aligned Move­ment, India was very eager, in par­tic­u­lar dur­ing the 1960s, not to be pulled under the influ­ence of either East or West but to remain neu­tral in the wran­gle of the Cold War. For this rea­son it is some­what aston­ish­ing that India remained on West Germany‘s side in regard to the ‘Ger­man Ques­tion‘, and offi­cial­ly accept­ed Adenauer’s claim of sole rep­re­sen­ta­tion and did not recog­nise the GDR as a sov­er­eign state.

In the files of the Fed­er­al Chan­cellery at the Bun­de­sarchiv Koblenz, a report can be found, writ­ten in Jan­u­ary 1960 by Klaus Mehn­ert, a con­ser­v­a­tive jour­nal­ist broad­cast­er and for­eign pol­i­cy com­men­ta­tor on a meet­ing he had with the Per­ma­nent Under­sec­re­tary of the Indi­an For­eign Office, S. Dutt. Mehn­ert describes parts of the one-hour meet­ing, in which Dutt spoke to him ’…as an Indi­an, not part of the Gov­ern­ment…’ about the con­tra­dic­tions of Bonn’s pol­i­cy in regards to the GDR and hint­ed at India’s grow­ing incli­na­tion to recog­nise the GDR.

The dis­cus­sion and in par­tic­u­lar Mehnert’s reply to Dutt pro­vides an impor­tant indi­ca­tion of how, just three years after Yugoslavia had recog­nised the GDR, Ade­nauer and influ­en­tial West Ger­man con­ser­v­a­tives tried to sus­tain the claim for sole rep­re­sen­ta­tion, in par­tic­u­lar in regards to devel­op­ing countries.

Using files from the Chan­cellery, the archives of the Auswär­tiges Amt and the Kred­i­tanstalt für Wieder­auf­bau (KfW) (as well as some doc­u­ments from the Thyssen-Krupp archive) this paper com­bines a diplo­mat­ic and eco­nom­ic his­to­ry approach to explain Mehnert’s and Adenauer’s posi­tion vis-a-vis India’s con­sid­er­a­tions to recog­nise the GDR and the con­se­quences such a move would have had for Bonn’s for­eign policy.


Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi


Archival Sources on the Hanoverian Regiments in India: The Niedersächsisches
Landesarchiv in Hanover

In 1782 two reg­i­ments of the army of Hanover were sent to India to help the East India Com­pa­ny in the Sec­ond Anglo-Mysore War. The troops, con­sist­ing of 2000 sol­diers, were the largest orga­nized group of Ger­mans who came to India in the eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry. They took part in one major bat­tle and var­i­ous expe­di­tions. After the war they served main­ly as gar­ri­son troops until 1791, when they began to be sent home. While my recent work on the Hanover­ian reg­i­ments focused on their pub­li­ca­tions, which includ­ed trav­el books and mag­a­zine arti­cles, it also made use of archival mate­ri­als. Although the India Office Records holds impor­tant sources on the orga­ni­za­tion and recruit­ment of these reg­i­ments, by far the most impor­tant sources are those held by the Nieder­säch­sis­ches Lan­desarchiv in Hanover. This is espe­cial­ly the case for sources on the admin­is­tra­tion of the reg­i­ments that would sup­ply invalu­able infor­ma­tion for mil­i­tary and social his­to­ri­ans. What this archive lacks, on the oth­er hand, is more per­son­al sources such as pri­vate let­ters and diaries, the kind of sources found in rel­a­tive abun­dance for the almost con­tem­po­rary expe­di­tion of Ger­man aux­il­iary troops to North Amer­i­ca. My talk will dis­cuss the hold­ings and the gaps of the archive and reflects where more per­son­al sources could be located.


Vandana Joshi

Sem­i­nar für Südasien-Stu­di­en, Insti­tut für Asien- und Afrikawis­senschaften, Hum­bold­tU­ni­ver­sität zu Berlin

Between Erasure and Remembrance: Shreds from the Kriegsalltag of South Asian Faujis
(Sipahis) in Stammlagers, Arbeitskommandos, Lazaretts and Graves (1939–45)

My paper is based on the hold­ings of the Inter­na­tion­al Trac­ing Ser­vice Archive which com­pris­es approx­i­mate­ly 30 mil­lion doc­u­ments on the incar­cer­a­tion of for­eign­ers and minori­ties in con­cen­tra­tion camps, ghet­tos and Gestapo pris­ons, on forced labour and dis­placed per­sons. The deter­min­ing fac­tor in this round of my archival vis­it was the Allied Order of Decem­ber 6, 1945, which instruct­ed all local and dis­trict author­i­ties in Ger­many to con­duct exhaus­tive search­es for all doc­u­ments and infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing mil­i­tary and civil­ian per­sons belong­ing to the Unit­ed King­dom since 1939 and to sub­mit their find­ings imme­di­ate­ly to the com­mand of their respec­tive occu­pa­tion forces. This order gen­er­at­ed enor­mous evi­dence for the his­to­ry of insti­tu­tion­al remem­brance. The col­lec­tion has brought into light fresh evi­dence that has so far not been utilised to eval­u­ate the pres­ence of South Asians dur­ing WWII and will fun­da­men­tal­ly alter our under­stand­ing of their every­day life in the Third Reich.

The evi­dence deals with the ascer­tain­ing, count­ing, reg­is­tra­tion, and at times exhuma­tion of graves. It con­tains lists of civil­ians and pris­on­ers of war-dead or alive- from a host of Sta­lags and Arbeit­skom­man­dos, sick bays and res­i­den­tial areas. An over­whelm­ing major­i­ty among the dead com­prised South Asian Fau­jis who left the shores of their land to fight the war. A frac­tion of them served the Wehrma­cht as a part of the Indi­an Legion and it is large­ly their pres­ence which has been not­ed in his­tor­i­cal accounts so far. The death records of these anony­mous Fau­jis demon­strate that they were con­temp­tu­ous­ly dumped in the back­yards of towns such as Ans­bach, Fuessen, Neustadt, Bischoe­f­gru­en, Bercht­es­gaden, Garmisch, Regens­burg, Lauter­hofen, West­er­timke, San­thofen, Her­born, Darm­stadt, Bre­mer­vo­erde, while a tiny minor­i­ty secured a place in the local Fried­hofs . In any event, their mor­tal remains lay in ditch­es in a for­eign land that denied them any right to rit­u­als of mourn­ing and death that sol­diers con­ven­tion­al­ly deserve. I also found sketchy records from men­tal hos­pi­tals, sana­to­ri­ums, sick bays, and hos­pi­tals which some of them vis­it­ed before dying. A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Fau­jis worked in Sta­lags and Arbeit­skom­man­dos as slave labour slog­ging 8 hours a day, 6 days a week until their lib­er­a­tion in mid 1945.

The evi­dence that I have been able to unearth so far speaks vol­umes for the silence, gloom, neglect, con­de­scen­sion, depres­sion, and per­se­cu­tion that enveloped the every­day life of the South Asian Fau­ji in WWII. Inher­ent in the nature of this knowl­edge gen­er­a­tion was an ele­ment of com­pul­sion ‘from above’ to report the dead, alive or miss­ing per­sons, which per se denies the his­to­ri­an any pos­si­bil­i­ty of find­ing sub­jec­tive expe­ri­ences of these sol­diers. There are no tes­ti­monies, no let­ters, no effects, no last wish­es, let alone diaries and oth­er ego doc­u­ments in these hold­ings. There are no sto­ries of human con­tact, com­pas­sion and empa­thy from ‘the oth­er uni­verse’, inhab­it­ed by ordi­nary Ger­mans not very far from these sites. And yet they have left behind enough tan­gi­ble traces of their worka­day from sev­er­al sites of work and death. I hope to share some unspo­ken words from these sites with my lis­ten­ers in the MIDA conference. 


Gregor M. Metzig 

Insti­tut für Geschichte der Uni­ver­sität Regensburg

Alltag und Mission. Deutschsprachige Jesuiten im portugiesischen Weltreich (1616–1773)

Kaum eine andere Gemein­schaft hat die Geschichte der katholis­chen Mis­sion weltweit so nach­haltig geprägt wie die 1540 offiziell gegrün­dete Soci­etas Jesu (SJ). Neuere Stu­di­en leg­en nahe, dass das glob­ale Engage­ment des Jesuitenor­dens jedoch mehr als bis­lang angenom­men durch die indi­vidu­elle Prä­gung sein­er Mit­glieder und der spez­i­fis­chen Kräftev­er­hält­nisse an ihrem Wirkung­sort bes­timmt wurde. Am Beispiel der aus der Assis­ten­tia Ger­ma­ni­ae stam­menden Orden­sange­höri­gen im por­tugiesis­chen Patronats­bere­ich (padroa­do real) soll eine All­t­ags­geschichte der Jesuit­en geschrieben wer­den. Sie zeigt in akteurszen­tri­ert­er Per­spek­tive die Schwierigkeit­en und Lern­prozesse der Mis­sion­are im tran­skon­ti­nen­tal­en Ver­gle­ich zwis­chen den bei­den luso-amerikanis­chen Jesuit­en­prov­inzen im Esta­do do Brasil und in Maran­hão sowie den ver­streuten por­tugiesis­chen Besitzun­gen rund um den Indis­chen Ozean.

Obwohl der Ordens­grün­der Ignatius von Loy­ola (1491–1556) bere­its 1542 die erste überseeis­che Jesuit­en­prov­inz in Indi­en etabliert hat­te, spiel­ten aus Mit­teleu­ropa stam­mende Mis­sion­are dort erst seit dem 17. Jahrhun­dert eine nen­nenswerte Rolle. Der Vor­trag rückt den­noch bewusst diese Min­der­heit inner­halb der Gesellschaft Jesu in den Mit­telpunkt der Betra­ch­tung. Der Grund hier­für liegt keines­falls in irgen­dein­er nation­al begrün­de­ten Präferenz,  son­dern in ihrer beson­deren Rel­e­vanz im Hin­blick auf die zen­trale Fragestel­lung des Pro­jek­ts: ein­er All­t­ags­geschichte der Jesuit­en in Übersee. Denn anders als etwa ihre por­tugiesis­chen Mit­brüder ver­fügten die Mit­teleu­ropäer als Aus­län­der zwangsläu­fig über eine andere Per­spek­tive auf das Leben in den por­tugiesis­chen Ter­ri­to­rien. So durch­liefen sie in den meis­ten Fällen eine mehrfache Dif­feren­z­er­fahrung, zunächst bei der Ein­reise in Por­tu­gal und der Erler­nung der dor­ti­gen Lan­dessprache, dann während der häu­fig nur ober­fläch­lich erfol­gten Inte­gra­tion in die luso­phone Kolo­nialge­sellschaft und schließlich beim Kon­takt mit den indi­ge­nen Kul­turen. Welche beson­deren Ver­hal­tens­muster legten die Jesuit­en gegenüber den ver­schiede­nen Bevölkerungs­grup­pen in den Kolonien an den Tag und wie gestal­tete sich die Wahrnehmung des Frem­den im tran­skon­ti­nen­tal­en Ver­gle­ich? Die region­al über­lieferte Kor­re­spon­denz der deutschsprachi­gen Mis­sion­are mit ihren zu Hause gebliebe­nen Mit­brüdern und Ange­höri­gen in den ver­schiede­nen Lan­des- und Fam­i­lien­ar­chiv­en beziehungsweise im Archiv der Deutschen Prov­inz SJ in München oder im Archiv der Nord­deutschen Prov­inz SJ (München, ehe­mals: Köln) birgt hier­für ein bis­lang noch kaum erschlossenes Quel­len­po­ten­tial. Hinzu kommt die offizielle Berichter­stat­tung der Ordensvertreter an ihre Vorge­set­zten sowie nicht zulet­zt die von ihnen selb­st ver­fassten Schriften und Trak­tate. Mit ihnen erre­icht­en die Mis­sion­are ein weit über die katholis­che Stamm­le­ser­schaft hin­aus­re­ichen­des Pub­likum und tru­gen damit wesentlich zum Wan­del des vorhan­de­nen Welt­bildes im Zeital­ter der Aufk­lärung bei.


Mrinalini Sebastian

The Other Story of Indology: European Missionaries and the Global Journeys of Vernacular Knowledge

Ger­man-speak­ing schol­ars have played an impor­tant role in cre­at­ing and sus­tain­ing inter­est in the field of Indo­log­i­cal Stud­ies. Dur­ing the 19th cen­tu­ry, at the peak of Ger­man inter­est in India-relat­ed mate­r­i­al, antiq­ui­ty and San­skrit were the themes that dom­i­nat­ed schol­ar­ship in the field of Indol­o­gy. This paper will try to make a case for anoth­er sto­ry of Indol­o­gy, which is less San­skrit-ori­ent­ed, and less obsessed with the notion of antiq­ui­ty. This oth­er sto­ry of Indol­o­gy begins in the ear­ly mod­ern peri­od when Euro­pean Catholic and Protes­tant mis­sion­ar­ies came to the Indi­an sub-con­ti­nent main­ly in order to evan­ge­lize and spread the mes­sage of Christ, but were drawn into unan­tic­i­pat­ed nego­ti­a­tions with their imme­di­ate con­texts, result­ing in knowl­edge exchange, knowl­edge inter­pre­ta­tion, and knowl­edge medi­a­tion. This oth­er sto­ry of Indol­o­gy is less about a pan-Indi­an cul­ture but more about ver­nac­u­lar knowl­edge, that is, knowl­edge that is native to a spe­cif­ic region of the sub­con­ti­nent. The mis­sion­ary-medi­at­ed cir­cu­la­tion of ver­nac­u­lar knowl­edge shaped sev­er­al fields of inquiry in mul­ti-direc­tion­al ways. One such field is the are­na of botan­i­cal stud­ies, and anoth­er, that of lin­guis­tics and lan­guage studies.

This paper will track the way Euro­pean traders and mis­sion­ar­ies engaged South Indi­an prac­ti­cal and tex­tu­al knowl­edge about the med­i­c­i­nal use of local plants, and sought to make this knowl­edge avail­able to Europe through a net­work of indi­vid­u­als, insti­tu­tions and pub­li­ca­tions. For exam­ple, the begin­nings of the fas­ci­na­tion for the med­i­c­i­nal plants of South India can be found in a very ear­ly doc­u­ment called Viri­dar­i­um Ori­en­tale, put togeth­er by a Dis­calced Carmelite Monk called Matthew of St Joseph (1612–1691) dur­ing the sec­ond half of the 17th cen­tu­ry. Matthew of St Joseph then became an impor­tant col­lab­o­ra­tor of the high-rank­ing Dutch East India Com­pa­ny (VOC) offi­cer Hen­drik Adri­aan van Reede tot Drak­en­stein (1636–1691) and Reede’s team of co-work­ers (that includ­ed a local Ezha­va doc­tor, Itty Achu­dem, and three Pan­dits, Dutch botanists, illus­tra­tors, and local helpers) in the ear­ly stages of the pub­li­ca­tion of the mag­nif­i­cent 12-vol­ume illus­trat­ed book called Hor­tus Indi­cus Mal­abar­i­cus (1678–1703). This book not only influ­enced botanists such as Carl von Lin­naeus (1707–1778), but also the Protes­tant mis­sion­ar­ies from Halle.

It is the objec­tive of this paper to track the glob­al cir­cu­la­tion of indige­nous botan­i­cal knowl­edge, and to fol­low its unan­tic­i­pat­ed jour­neys from South India to Europe; from Europe back to India; from the past to the present. Many of these jour­neys were facil­i­tat­ed by the schol­ar­ly work of the Ger­manophone mis­sion­ar­ies. Its return was enabled by schol­ars and ped­a­gogues who worked in the field of Botany. In fact, track­ing the cir­cu­la­tion of ver­nac­u­lar knowl­edge could help us get at the geneal­o­gy of anoth­er text­book by anoth­er mis­sion­ary at anoth­er time, Glimpses into the Life of Indi­an Plants: An Ele­men­tary Indi­an Botany (Man­ga­lore 1908), by the Basel Mis­sion mis­sion­ary Immanuel Pflei­der­er (1872–1949).

The paper hopes to present this case study of mis­sion­ary-medi­at­ed intel­lec­tu­al inter­ven­tions in the field of Botany in order to sug­gest that writ­ing a con­nect­ed his­to­ry of the for­ays of the mis­sion­ar­ies into var­i­ous branch­es of ver­nac­u­lar knowl­edge, could offer us fas­ci­nat­ing insights into the mutu­al­ly depen­dent net­works of con­tacts, con­nec­tions, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions estab­lished dur­ing the ear­ly mod­ern peri­od. I am par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in under­stand­ing the intel­lec­tu­al geneal­o­gy of the 19th cen­tu­ry Basel Mis­sion schol­armis­sion­ar­ies in this world wide web of con­nec­tions and networks.


Keyvan Djahangiri

Sem­i­nar für Südasien-Stu­di­en, Insti­tut für Asien- und Afrikawis­senschaften, Hum­bold­tU­ni­ver­sität zu Berlin

Centres of Calculation’ or Dead End? Early Modern Material on ‘India’ in German Archives

By using the exam­ple of the Francke Foundation’s India Mis­sion Archive in Halle Sax­onyAn­halt), my paper deals in two sep­a­rate but inter­de­pen­dent sec­tions with the the­mat­ic of Mod­ern India in Ger­man Archives (MIDA). The first address­es a num­ber of hypo­thet­i­cal ques­tions on ‘India’ as the top­ic of infor­ma­tion and knowl­edge (1). I will demon­strate in the sec­ond part meth­ods and per­spec­tives of Ger­man archival stud­ies on ‘India’ (2). The paper’s over­all inten­tion is to con­tribute to the dis­cus­sions on how oppor­tu­ni­ties and future trends may be set and utilised on MIDA’s long-term research aspect.

1   Ger­man Archives may indeed unfold research poten­tial in order to revis­it west­ern Indol­o­gy, which has been hith­er­to dom­i­nat­ed by British-relat­ed acad­e­mia. In com­pli­ance with Bruno Latour’s ‘Cen­tres of Cal­cu­la­tion’, I refer both to unpub­lished and edit­ed ear­ly mod­ern archival mate­r­i­al from the Francke Foun­da­tion to dis­cuss the fol­low­ing emerg­ing questions.[1] Do we wit­ness Ger­man-speak­ing ‘Cen­tres of Cal­cu­la­tion’ in Halle, where infor­ma­tion is accu­mu­lat­ed, cir­cu­lat­ed and man­aged on ‘India’, and if so, how? Do these Cen­tres con­stant­ly (re-)produce imag­ined, trans­mit­ted, and mate­ri­al­ized top­ics of knowl­edge? Or are we rather con­front­ed with stan­dard­i­s­a­tion pro­ce­dures of infor­ma­tion that led to a sta­t­ic and instruc­tive dead end of knowledge?

2   Hav­ing set these prob­lems forth for fur­ther dis­cus­sions, I would like to present a few aspects of my own research on work­ing on ‘India’ in Ger­man archives. This also includes the oper­at­ing expe­ri­ence with the online search engine of the Francke Foundation’s Archive. The search engine not only helps to localise the archival mate­r­i­al, but also enhances – through the inter­con­nec­tion of names, dates, prove­niences, and key­words – the epis­te­mo­log­i­cal approach of Dig­i­tal Human­i­ties. This might be use­ful for MIDA’s agen­da of rep­re­sent­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing the his­to­ry of Indo-Ger­man entanglements.

[1] The ‘Cen­tres of Cal­cu­la­tion’ is a cen­tre-periph­ery-ori­ent­ed con­cept by the French soci­ol­o­gist Bruno Latour on how doc­u­ments are man­aged as net­work-gen­er­at­ed ‘immutable and com­bin­able mobiles’ and which explores their part on the pro­duc­tion of knowl­edge; vid. Latour, B. 1987. Sci­ence in Action. How to Fol­low Sci­en­tists and Engi­neers through Soci­ety. Cam­bridge (MA): Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 215–257, esp. 227.


Britta Klosterberg

Stu­dien­zen­trum August Her­mann Francke, Halle

Die Quellen zur Dänisch-Halleschen Mission im Archiv der Franckeschen Stiftungen

Die im Jahr 1706 begrün­dete Dänisch-Hallesche Mis­sion ist die erste organ­isierte Mis­sion­sun­ternehmung in der protes­tantis­chen Kirchengeschichte. Der über­wiegende Teil der Quellen wird heute im Archiv der Franck­eschen Stiftun­gen zu Halle auf­be­wahrt. Seit 2006 befind­et sich auch das ursprünglich von den Mis­sion­aren in Tran­que­bar angelegte, Ende des 19. Jahrhun­derts vom Evan­ge­lisch Lutherischen Mis­sion­swerk in Leipzig über­nommene Archiv als Deposi­tum in den Franck­eschen Stiftun­gen. Der Über­liefer­ungszeitraum erstreckt sich vom frühen 18. Jahrhun­dert bis in das erste Drit­tel des 19. Jahrhun­derts. Der Umfang des Gesamtbe­stands beträgt mehr als 34 000 Doku­mente. Diese Doku­mente sind im Rah­men eines DFG-Pro­jek­ts for­mal und inhaltlich erschlossen und auf der Web­site der Franck­eschen Stiftun­gen in ein­er deutschen und in ein­er englis­chen Fas­sung zugänglich. Im Rah­men der Mis­sion­sar­beit gelangten auch Manuskripte in Tamil und Tel­ugu nach Halle. Ein Großteil dieser Manuskripte befind­et sich in der Palm­blatthand­schriften­samm­lung des Archivs. Der Kat­a­log der Tamil-Manuskripte kann eben­falls über die Web­site aufgerufen wer­den; ein Kat­a­log der Manuskripte in Tel­ugu ist in Vor­bere­itung. Diese Quellen wer­den ergänzt durch die Bestände in der Bib­lio­thek der Franck­eschen Stiftun­gen. Darunter zählen die sog. „Halleschen Berichte“, die erste protes­tantis­che Mis­sion­szeitschrift, die dig­i­tal auf­bere­it­et und in ein­er Daten­bank erschlossen wor­den ist und wiederum Ver­weise auf die Quellen aus dem Archiv enthält.

In dem Vor­trag sollen die Bestände, ihre Erschließung und Präsen­ta­tion auf der Web­site der Franck­eschen Stiftun­gen vorgestellt sowie neue Recherchemöglichkeit­en durch das im Auf­bau befind­liche „Francke-Por­tal“ aufgezeigt wer­den. Zugle­ich sollen Desider­a­ta für die weit­ere, ver­tiefte Erschließung und Erforschung der Bestände zur Dänisch-Halleschen Mis­sion bzw. Dänisch-Englisch-Halleschen Mis­sion benan­nt und zur Diskus­sion gestellt werden.


Ajay Bharadwaj, Anne Murphy, Raghavendra Rao Karkala Vasudevaiah 

Depart­ment of Asian Stud­ies, The Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia, Vancouver

Ajay Bhard­waj (doc­u­men­tary film­mak­er and Ph.D. stu­dent, Uni­ver­si­ty of British Columbia);
Anne Mur­phy (Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor, Depart­ment of Asian Stud­ies, Uni­ver­si­ty of British
Colum­bia); and Raghaven­dra Rao K.V. (visu­al artist and fac­ul­ty, Srishti School of Art, Design,
and Technology)

Early films/images in and about India: The German Lens”

In the 1920s, as Carl-Erd­mann Schon­feld has not­ed, there were many Ger­mans inter­est­ed in India: this was indeed the peri­od of Her­man Hesse’s Sid­dhartha. Films such as Osten’s series of films on India (“The Light of India” (1926), “Shi­raz” (1928), and “Throw of Dice” (1929)) and Richard Eichberg’s “The Indi­an Tomb” (1938) and “The Tiger of Eschna­pur” (1938), and oth­ers, demon­strate the Ger­man cin­e­mat­ic inter­est in India, ethno­graph­ic as well as nar­ra­tive (and com­mer­cial). Ger­man pro­duc­tion knowl­edge, equip­ment, and skill in turn pro­found­ly impact­ed the ear­ly years of Indi­an film production.

What is hid­den in the Ger­man archives of footage and infor­ma­tion about such film projects?What would it mean to exam­ine such ear­ly filmic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of/in/about India, and relo­cate our under­stand­ing of the engage­ment of Europe with India from a broad­er per­spec­tive, out­side of the lens of direct colo­nial dom­i­na­tion that has char­ac­ter­ized British knowl­edge of India, as Shel­don Pol­lock has already sug­gest­ed (1993; see fur­ther dis­cus­sion in Adluri 2011 and Halb­fass 1988).

The goal of our engage­ment with the Ger­man archives along these lines is to pro­duce schol­ar­ly knowl­edge, but also–as far as possible–forms of cul­tur­al pro­duc­tion, through filmic and artis­tic prac­tice, incor­po­rat­ing both film and still images in an under­stand­ing of the Ger­man “eye” in the imag­i­na­tion of India.


Debjani Bhattacharyya

Depart­ment of His­to­ry and Pol­i­tics, Drex­el Uni­ver­si­ty, Philadelphia

The Influence of German Town Planning in British India: Tracing the Heritage of Lex Adikes

This paper will explore the glob­al cir­cu­la­tion of Lex Adikes, a law devel­oped by Dr. Franz Adikes as may­or of Frank­furt (1890–1912), [2] trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish for the first time by a British civ­il ser­vant in Bom­bay Mr. E. G. Turn­er. This trans­la­tion was nec­es­sary for fram­ing land-dis­tri­b­u­tion laws dur­ing ear­ly infra­struc­tur­al ven­tures in sub­ur­ban plan­ning begin­ning, first, in 1909 with the Bom­bay Improve­ment Trust and, lat­er, with the Cal­cut­ta Improve­ment Trust from1911. Val­ued for its cost- effec­tive­ness in nego­ti­at­ing pri­vate prop­er­ty, pub­lic util­i­ty and emi­nent domain issues, the Lex Adikes was suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ed in these cities, as a way to cir­cum­vent the more cum­ber­some and expen­sive options detailed in the Land Acqui­si­tion Act of 1894. Adikes’ phrase, ‘[t]he fore­seen needs of the near future,’ became a cen­tral prin­ci­ple in struc­tur­ing town “devel­op­ment,” mark­ing, for the first time, the cal­cu­la­tion of future cost-ben­e­fits in munic­i­pal eco­nom­ic think­ing in British India and the unfurl­ing of a devel­op­men­tal regime.[3]

The cir­cu­la­tion of knowl­edge between Ger­many and Britain’s east­ern colony is hard­ly unknown, although insuf­fi­cient­ly doc­u­ment­ed. While recent works have begun to chart the cir­cuits of med­ical and tech­no­log­i­cal infor­ma­tion, entan­gle­ments of polit­i­cal ideas and knot­ted intel­lec­tu­al his­to­ries, much less has been researched about the trans­fers of bureau­crat­ic knowl­edge at the lev­el of munic­i­pal­i­ties between town-plan­ners in Ger­many, British offi­cials in the pres­i­den­cy towns, and Indi­an urban­ists. This paper, grow­ing out of my book man­u­script on the his­to­ry of urban hous­ing and the prop­er­ty mar­ket in colo­nial Cal­cut­ta, will attempt to map the trans­la­tion of Ger­man town-plan­ning ideas into 20th cen­tu­ry munic­i­pal reor­ga­ni­za­tion of the sub­urbs of Calcutta.

The pres­ence of Ger­man knowl­edge with­in munic­i­pal ven­tures can be attest­ed to by the easy avail­abil­i­ty of Ger­man texts on town plans, munic­i­pal laws, Pruss­ian zon­ing laws, as well as trans­la­tions, such as B. W. Kissan’s, I.C.S Report on Town-plan­ning Enact­ments in Ger­many, in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry library records of the Cal­cut­ta Munic­i­pal Library. In this paper I will delve into British Engi­neer E. P. Richards’ first com­pre­hen­sive town plan­ning report for Cal­cut­ta pub­lished in 1914, which has been read as the first sys­tem­at­ic attempt to trans­late colo­nial town-plan­ning ideas to Cal­cut­ta (Dut­ta 2013, Har­ris and Lewis, 2014). As my paper will demon­strate, Richards’ report did not only build upon Eng­lish town plan­ning laws, but much more on Ger­man sources. Going beyond Eng­land, he com­pares Cal­cut­ta to oth­er Euro­pean cities, as a means of fore­ground­ing the pos­si­ble ben­e­fits of fol­low­ing Ger­man zon­ing, hous­ing and land dis­tri­b­u­tion laws and stress­ing the impor­tance of apply­ing Lex Adikes in Cal­cut­ta, which E. G. Turn­er was suc­cess­ful­ly apply­ing in Bombay.

To con­clude, my paper’s his­tor­i­cal exca­va­tion into the con­tact zones of bureau­crat­ic knowl­edge sys­tems about town plan­ning in British India and Ger­many seeks to achieve two things: First, it shifts the focus away from epi­demi­ol­o­gy and san­i­tar­i­an dri­ves born out of the Oxbridge world of moral Chris­tian­i­ty and Nat­ur­al The­ol­o­gy of William Paley that has been one of the orga­niz­ing lens to view town plan­ning ven­tures in colo­nial Cal­cut­ta (Chat­topad­hyay, 2005; Pande 2010; Dat­ta, 2013). Sec­ond, these sources offer a glimpse into a world of shared knowl­edge sys­tems with­in munic­i­pal admin­is­tra­tion, some­thing that has been also not­ed in ear­ly British for­est con­ser­va­tion poli­cies. By turn­ing to these exchanges I hope to trace a par­al­lel but non-colo­nial geneal­o­gy of the 20th-cen­tu­ry devel­op­men­tal state, and the role played by Ger­man munic­i­pal ideas in shap­ing some of the prac­tices of mod­ern bureau­crat­ic state for­ma­tion in India.

[2] Also known as Gesetz betr. die Umle­gung von Grund­stück­en in Frank­furt a. M, 1899.

[3] This phrase has been attrib­uted to Dr. Franz Adikes in both Bom­bay and Cal­cut­ta Improve­ment Trust Reports, how­ev­er I am yet to ver­i­fy it.