Interview with Prof. Neilesh Bose

    Neilesh is Associate Professor of History and Canada Research Chair of Global and Comparative History at the University of Victoria. His publications include the edited volumes India after World History: Literature, Comparison, and Approaches to Globalization (Leiden, 2022), South Asian Migrations in Global History: Labor, Law, and Wayward Lives (London, 2020), and his monograph Recasting the Region: Language, Culture, and Islam in Colonial Bengal (Delhi, 2014) as well as articles on religion, colonialism, and aspects of decolonization.

    The Global South Colloquium (GSC), University of Victoria is sponsoring the UVIC AWARD for TMYS Review, 2023 where FOUR selected submissions will be honoured with cash awards of INR 3000/- (USD36) each.

    Prof. Bose spoke to TMYS on the vision of GSC, the importance of emerging voices in history and literature, and also shared his advice on certain elements that scholars and writers should keep in mind.


    1. Please share a brief on GSC's vision and effort in including emerging voices to the existing discourse.

    The Global South Colloquium centres the Global South into ongoing conversations about the making of the modern world. This colloquium serves as a forum for faculty, students, and all members of the UVic community to focus on the Global South, traditionally referring to South Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East’s histories, cultures, and politics. More than a geographical orientation to the “non-West,” the colloquium poses the Global South as a provocation to orient discussions about the world-system, its contours, inequities, and sources of power, including a focus not divided by geography but placement within global histories and practices. Discussions have focused on topics such as religion and secularism, migration and borders, decolonization and self-determination, and the Indian Ocean as a site of pluralism, exchange, and cultural diversity outside the Western world. A core element of the GSC’s mission features centering voices and perspectives often not encountered in the Western academy.


    2. How do you think new voices in writing can add to the rethinking of history? How open is the global intelligencia towards receiving new thoughts, discourse, research and interpretation?

    New voices advance both empirical and theoretical frontiers in our understanding of history. History is an ongoing conversation with the past, to be only enlivened, expanded, and revisited anew with the addition of new voices. The “global intelligentsia” is difficult to define, but the established citadels of academic orthodoxy tend to operate according to two, somewhat contradictory models. On one hand, the fashions of academia tend to seek out shiny new paths of research, highlighting new “trends” that subside as quickly as they rise to prominence. On the other hand, the established system of publishing and visibility tend also to reward individuals with connections to power, topics that are easy to sell and market, and work that doesn’t take courageous risks, but rather keeps the status quo alive. New voices have to work toward bridging these two features of the establishment. Rather than work to be “trendy” scholars should work toward producing enduring, and compelling, works of scholarship.


    3. How can the emerging scholars achieve a flow in academic writing so that it doesn't appear fragmented or choppy? Request your advice.

    Opening and crafting a narrative based on actual events which have genuinely touched the writer, as opposed to abstractions or polemics, tend to ease the flow of academic writing. Grounding an academic argument within real people, actual events, and magic of those people and events that drew the scholar to the topic in the first place, ensures strong scholarly writing.


    4. Emerging writers often get confused about the concepts of plagiarism. There is a misconception among many that they need to cite only if they are quoting. Request your advice on how to avoid plagiarism?

    For better or worse, ideas are not copyrighted, but words in print are copyrighted. For honest scholarly advances to take place, both ideas and words must be acknowledged in due course. Plagiarism, simply, refers to the stealing of someone else’s work and passing it off as one’s own. Simply quoting one’s words, without acknowledging ideas taken from elsewhere, may not be always caught but will only stall the mission of scholarship.



    Click here for the Submission Guidelines for TMYS Review 2023.




    The Interview is conducted by Moumita Pal. Moumita is a proactive learner and scholar of English literature who hails from Bankura, West Bengal, India. She has completed her post-graduation in 2019 from Bankura University and has qualified UGC NET with JRF in June 2020. She has publications in various National and International Journals of repute like IJCRTLiterary Herald, Appropriations, Creative Flight and Anthology The Research etc. Some of her areas of interest include Environmentalism, Psychology, Gender and woman studies and Indian writing in English.


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