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South Asian Broadcasters in Britain and the BBC: Talking to India (1941-1943)

This research explores the contributions of key diasporic South Asian writers and intellectuals, such as Mulk Raj Anand, to the BBC’s broadcasts to India during the Second World War (1941-1943) when the tensions between nationalism, anti-fascism and anti-imperialism were intense. It examines how diasporic South Asian writers in Britain dealt with these tensions. It analyses how their different responses to these tensions found literary expression, and how media and cultural critics responded to these literary texts. It argues that the BBC did not speak with a unitary voice but provided a transcultural contact zone in metropolitan London and in doing so fostered intellectual networks in which diasporic Indian nationalism could be debated and critiqued.

Project contact: 

Dr Ruvani Ranasinha, Kings College London,

    Project members: 

  • Ruvani Ranasinha specialises in postcolonial literature and theory, especially relating to South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. Her research interests are in post-1945 and contemporary fiction and film, particularly as they relate to gender, immigration, globalisation and the cultural representation of Muslim identity in the West. She is interested in the intersection between postcolonial literature and book history, explored in her second monograph South Asian Writers in Twentieth Century Britain: Culture in Translation, a historical account of the publication, editing and critical reception of twentieth-century South Asian diasporic writing based on original archival research, from a range of publishing houses. She is currently Co-Investigator on a three year AHRC-funded project Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad 1870-1950 with Elleke Boehmer (Oxford University), led by Susheila Nasta (Open University) in association with The British Library and The Courtauld Institute (2007-2010). She convenes the King’s College Postcolonial Studies Network.