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The Derozio Affair

An Annal of Early Calcutta

Rudrangshu Mukherjee (rudrangshu@hotmail.com) teaches history and is chancellor, Ashoka University, Sonepat.

Hindu College was set up in Calcutta in 1817 as a pioneering institution to impart Western learning to its students. In 1831, its most outstanding teacher, Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, then only 22 years old, was compelled to resign. A look at the circumstances that forced his resignation attempts to reconstruct Derozio's ideas and his teaching methods. The episode offers a glimpse of the intellectual ambience of early 19th-century Calcutta.

I thank Rukun Advani, Dipesh Chakraborty, Partha Chatterjee, Jonathan Katz, Ramachandra Guha, Ranajit Guha and Sumit Sarkar for their comments on earlier drafts. They are, however, not responsible for the facts and interpretation of this paper.

Updated On : 13th Sep, 2017

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