Nalini Natarajan to speak about “Atlantic Gandhi” at the Library of Congress


The Asian Division of the Library of Congress will mark Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (October 2, 1869) with a book talk by Nalini Natarajan, author of Atlantic Gandhi: The Mahatma Overseas (Sage Publishing, 2013) at noon on Thursday, October 2, 2014, at the Whittall Pavilion. The venue is located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC. A book signing will follow the talk.

The book offers an in-depth discussion of the global phenomenon of indenture, focusing on South Africa and the Caribbean, as well as other topics related to Gandhi’s diasporic consciousness and his anti-colonial struggles. [Also see previous post New Book: Nalini Natarajan’s “Atlantic Gandhi—The Mahatma Overseas”.]

Description: Using the frames of diaspora theory, post-colonial discourse theory and the recent Atlantic turn in studies of resistance, this book brings into relief Gandhi’s experience as a traveler moving from a classic colony, India, to the plantation and mining society of South Africa. The author forwards the argument that this move between different modes of production brought Gandhi into contact with indentured laborers, with whom he shared exilic and diasporic consciousness, and whose difficult yet resilient lives inspired his philosophy. It reads Gandhi’s nationalistic (that is, anti-colonial) sentiments as born in diasporic exile, where he formed his perspective as a provincial subject in a multiracial plantation.  The author’s viewpoint has been inspired by the new analytic that has emerged in the last few decades: the Atlantic as an ocean that not just transported the victims of a greedy plantation system, but also saw the ferment of revolutionary ideas.

Nalini Natarajan was born in Madras (now Chennai) and raised in New Delhi and Mumbai. She holds an MA from Delhi University and a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. She teaches English at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

For more information on the book, see

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