My work explores the intersection of fiction and history in the context of British colonial expansion in south Asia during the late 18th / early 19th century, an era in which history was a veritable genre of literature. Specifically, I focus on British representations of Tipu Sultan (the last independent prince to effectively resist the East India Company) in British fiction (Walter Scott, Meadows Taylor, G. A. Henty, H. M. Milner), commissioned histories, memoirs and works of British and French ‘Orientalist’ scholars.
Another dimension to the study is the role of the English language in mediating thought as it is/was transcribed (or translated) in works sponsored by the early colonial regime. This allows me to unsettle colonial history/ fiction within the framework of linguistic imperialism leading to a discussion on the possibility of composing counter-colonial discourses in English – the means of the articulation and perpetuation of Anglo-American (neo-) colonial domination.
The 'Oriental Despot' in historical fiction and fictional history
- Ahmed, Sameer, “Fighting in the Shadows: Empire and Moral Regeneration in Skyfall”, Media Education Journal 63, Summer 2018, 29-33.
- Ahmed, Sameer, “James Bond and Brexit: the troublesome ‘Outsider’ within”, POWER: exploring dimensions in Britain, April 2018, University of Stirling, UK.
- Writing and ideology