Public Lecture | The East India Company and the Politics of Knowledge



The Public Lecture “The East India Company and the Politics of Knowledge” will take place on 27 February, from 7 – 8:30PM, in Rui Cunha Foundation.

The East India Company is remembered as the world’s most powerful, not to say notorious, corporation. But for many of its advocates from the 1770s to the 1850s it was also the world’s most enlightened one. Joshua Ehrlich reveals that a commitment to knowledge was integral to the Company’s ideology. He shows how the Company cited this commitment in defense of its increasingly fraught union of commercial and political power. He moves beyond studies of orientalism, colonial knowledge, and information with a new approach: the history of ideas of knowledge. He recovers a world of debate among the Company’s officials and interlocutors, Indian and European, on the political uses of knowledge. Not only were these historical actors highly articulate on the subject but their ideas continue to resonate in the present. Knowledge was a fixture in the politics of the Company – just as it seems to be becoming a fixture in today’s politics.

About the Speaker:

Joshua Ehrlich is an award-winning historian of knowledge and political thought with a focus on the East India Company and the British Empire in South and Southeast Asia. Currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of Macau, he received his PhD and MA from Harvard University and his BA from the University of Chicago.


Date: Tuesday, 27 February 2024 
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Rui Cunha Foundation, Av. da Praia Grande, Nº749-R/C, Macau
Language: English

Organised by: Research Laboratory for Cultural Sustainability, and Department of History and Heritage Studies – Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Saint Joseph.

Moderated by: Prof. Priscilla Roberts

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*This is a free event and open to the general public