Podcast explores love in colonial India

“Colonial Love,” a new episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series, examines what love meant for colonial India’s mixed-race families.

The podcast’s third season -- "What Do We Know about Love?" -- showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and love. The series is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring.

“As I did my research, I wondered: was it possible for love to flourish in an environment where whiteness was so valued, particularly when some members of the family were not fully white?  Did European men love their mixed-race children?” Durba Ghosh, professor of history, asks in her podcast episode.

Ghosh, director of the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, studies the history of British colonialism on the Indian subcontinent. She is the author of “Gentlemanly Terrorists and “Sex and the Family in Colonial India” which examined conjugal relationships between colonial officials and residents and local women in India. Her new project focuses on commemorations of freedom fighters in India and their place in India's political landscape.

“What Makes Us Human” podcasts are available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the A&S humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted. They can also be heard Tuesday mornings on WHCU 95.9 FM/870 AM.

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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 Image of a ball in colonial India, with a chandelier; men and women in fancy evening clothes, and Indians in turbans