1044 Through the Lens of History- Anglo-Indians (Register)
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The topic for this Meeting is:
"Through the lens of history, Anglo Indians and Domiciled Europeans "
Our presenter is Dr Uther Charlton-Stevens
Unlike today, during the British Raj in India, discussions of mixed racial heritage were taboo. British and 'Domiciled European' families often concealed their Indian ancestry, even those classified as 'Anglo-Indians' from 1911, previously known as ‘Eurasians’. Official documents and coded language obscured these backgrounds. The domiciled community in India, including those of varying skin tones, sometimes claimed European origins to 'pass' as white. Upon migrating to countries like Britain and Australia, many Anglo-Indians altered their narratives to emphasize European heritage. This phenomenon extended to celebrities in Hollywood and the music industry. Recent DNA testing has uncovered concealed Indian ancestry, making this a crucial aspect for those exploring their English and Indian ancestors' history, highlighting the complexity of identity, race, and cultural heritage during colonial times.
Dr. Uther Charlton-Stevens will explore ancestral aspects of colonial British society, including race, colour and class hierarchy. If you have British ancestors who were elites, professionals, civil servants, in the military or business people, you likely have a connection to India. The cosmopolitan period of East India Company rule saw "abundant 'interracial' sex and occasional marriage, alongside greater cultural openness and exchange. The result was a large and growing 'mixed-race' community, known by the early twentieth century as Anglo-Indians."
Dr Charlton-Stevens is an author, historian and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He completed his doctorate in South Asian History, with a thesis on Decolonising Anglo-Indians, at the University of Oxford. His latest book — Anglo-India and the End of Empire — was released in September 2022. His research focuses on the history of the Anglo-Indians, a 'mixed-race' community arising from the European and British imperial presence in colonial India and Burma (modern Myanmar).
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