Agnes Smedley and the Intimacies of Anticolonial Transnationalism

Speaker: Michele L. Louro, Salem State University
Venue: Room N401, NYU Shanghai New Bund Campus
Date & Time:
2023-11-9 | 17:30-19:00

This talk examines the life history of Agnes Smedley, an American writer and activist who became an anticolonial transnationalist through her engagements and relationships with Indian diasporic revolutionaries in the U.S. and Germany in the early twentieth century. She also travelled to China, embedded herself within the communist party, and chronicled the events of the revolution and Second World War. This talk traces Smedley’s global crossings as a prism for exploring the power of intimacy to the making (and unmaking) of transnational solidarities, while also considering the gendered experiences of revolutionary women like her who were critical to shaping transnational anticolonialism. The talk ultimately situates gender and transnationalism at the center of Smedley’s life history and reminds us that women, gender, and private spaces were critical in constituting transnational networks of anticolonialism across the interwar world.

Michele L. Louro is a Full Professor of History at Salem State University. She received her Ph.D. from Temple University and is trained in the fields of global and transnational histories of the twentieth century world with a focus on South Asia and the British Empire. She is author to Comrades against Imperialism: Nehru, India and Interwar Internationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2018), and co-editor of League against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives (Leiden University Press, 2020).  Professor Louro is working on two new projects. She is writing a transnational history of Agnes Smedley and beginning a new research project on the Meerut Conspiracy Case in India, 1929-1934. The research on the Meerut Conspiracy Case is funded by the U.S. Fulbright program.

Introduction by Yucong Hao, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Global China Studies at NYU Shanghai.



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