Ameena Gafoor Institute, Cambridge University establish study of indentureship
The University of Cambridge, UK is to take the lead on the research and study of indentureship, thanks to support from the Ameena Gafoor Institute (AGI). The joint initiative between Cambridge and the AGI to establish a professorship at the University will be launched at a reception at the Home Room of the House of Lords, London on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.
Present at the reception will be The Rt Hon Lord Parekh, Honorary Patron of the AGI, and Professor David Dabydeen, a former Guyana Ambassador to UNESCO, a novelist and broadcaster.
The research and study into indentureship, including Indian indentureship, at Cambridge would place a much-needed spotlight on the mass migration of labourers from the Indian sub-continent to various colonies across the globe, including the Caribbean.
At a time when questions of roots and identity are at the forefront of social and political discourse in Guyana and elsewhere where indentured labourers settled, this joint initiative is both relevant and important, and the University of Cambridge’s participation would provide gravitas to this area of study, which has been much neglected by scholars and historians.
The University is working with the AGI to establish an Endowed Professorship, an Endowed Lectureship, several other academic posts, and postdoctoral and PhD studentships to the field of study.
The University of Cambridge is one of the leading centres for the study of imperial and modern South Asian History, with resources that include the South Asian Studies Centre Library and Archive, where significant material related to indenture is stored at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
The study and documentation of indentureship have barely been included in the history syllabi of Western universities, and this initiative is expected to advance scholarship and research in this area, and provide new direction and material for discussion going forward.