Travel and Space in the Nun’s Experience: Lecture by Yashaswini Chandra

Yashaswini Chandra delivered a lecture on ‘Travel and Space in the Nun’s Experience of Colonial India’. It was chaired by Ananya Vajpeyi. 


Through a comparative study of Rumer Godden’s Black Narcissus, a novel about nuns in colonial India published in 1939, and the Loreto order in India, this talk highlights the role of nuns as a community of European women in shaping the colonial experience. At the same time, it focuses on the dimensions of travel and space in formulating their own colonial experience. By juxtaposing fiction with historical archive, it brings out the parallels and the divergences between the cultural representation of nuns and real-world ones. The talk reflects one aspect of an ongoing study towards a women’s history of colonial India related as intimate experiences intertwined with colonial spaces. 

Yashaswini Chandra is an affiliated fellow of the Centre for the Study of Developing Studies. She holds a PhD from SOAS University of London, and her research interests include the arts and cultures of the Himalayas, Rajasthan and Mughal India, animal history, and women’s studies. She is the author of The Tale of the Horse: A History of India on Horseback

Ananya Vajpeyi is Associate Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Monday, 23 January 2023, 4 pm Seminar Room and Zoom