SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Miss Emily Rose Stevenson

MA Social Anthropological Research Methods, SOAS - Results Pending BA Social Anthropology, SOAS - First Class Honours
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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

PhD Student

Miss Emily Rose Stevenson
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Thesis title:
The Postcolonial Consumption of Colonial Legacies: The Contemporary Social Life of Postcards from British India.
Year of Study:
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PhD Research

The visual media of British India has been widely theorised in terms of its complicity with the imperial endeavour, whilst more recent scholarship has recognised the agency of the colonised subjects depicted and the complex social relations surrounding the production and consumption of such media. Despite its insights, however, this body of literature has been limited by both a lack of engagement with the popular and ephemeral medium of postcards, and an incomplete recognition of the continued existence of such media as socially salient image-objects. My research shall therefore ethnographically investigate the social life of postcards from British India in the postcolonial present of Bangalore. By exploring the multifarious ways in which people in Bangalore relate to postcards from British India, both through physical and intellectual repurposing, this study will consider the participation of such postcards in constructions of past, identity and nation.  Situating this in relation to both visual anthropology and history, I shall consider the complex and often contested concomitance of manifold temporalities and imaginations within one social space, as well as the material and visceral status of postcards.  


  • “Home Sweet Home: Women and The ‘Other Space’ of Domesticity in Colonial Indian Postcards, ca. 1880-1920”, Visual Anthropology, 2013, 26(4): 298-327


  • "Traversing Spaces and Upholding Imperial Ideology: The work of Colonial Indian Postcards in Spaces of Domesticity", SSAI Graduate Workshop: 'Crossing borders in South Asia, SOAS, London 07/05/2014