Sujit Sivasundaram is a university lecturer in World and Imperial History since 1500 at the University of Cambridge and fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He is the author of Nature and the Godly Empire: Science and Evangelical Mission in the Pacific, 1795-1850. He won a Philip Leverhulme Prize for History in 2012, awarded to young scholars in the United Kingdom for accomplishments in research.
How did the British come to conquer South Asia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries?
Answers to this question usually start in northern India, neglecting the dramatic events that marked Britain's contemporaneous taking of the island of Sri Lanka. In Islanded, Sujit Sivasundaram reconsiders the arrival of British rule in South Asia as a dynamic and unfinished process of territorialization and state building, revealing that the British colonial project was framed by Sri Lanka's traditions and maritime placement and built in part on the model they provided. Picking up a range of unusual themes, from migration, orientalism, and ethnography to botany, medicine, and education, Islanded is an engaging retelling of the advent of British rule and a theory of colonial impact that speaks to other places that have been lost from dominant histories.
'A wonderful read that calls into question many assumptions on the nature of colonial domination.' - Nira Wickramasinghe, Leiden Univesity
'Sujit Sivasundaram's Islanded is one of the most important historical studies on Sri Lanka in the early colonial period. It deals with the British advent to Sri Lanka in the context of the country's recent past and its strategic location in the Indian Ocean.' - Gananath Obeyesekere, Princeton University