Textual Subjects in Motion: Letters, Literature and Print Medium in an Indian-South African Exchange (1928-1946)

Meg Samuelson


Abstract

This article traces an epistolary exchange between South Africa and India that was animated by the circulation of print media and literary texts. The exchange – between the South African archivist, poet and social historian MK Jeffreys and the Indian statesmen and scholars VS Srinivasa Sastri and P Kodanda Rao – is read as forming part of a larger web of personal and political relations and textual traffic that contributed to the production of Indian Ocean public spheres. Through engagement with this particular case study, the article seeks to contribute to the scholarly turn from explorations of relations between ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’ or along a North-South axis toward elaborating those engaging South-South connections within the Indian Ocean arena.

Keywords

Indian Ocean textual traffic; transnational print culture; MK Jeffreys; P Kodanda Rao; VS Sastri; Rabindranath Tagore; Rudyard Kipling

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