"From Bombay to Canton: Traveling the Opium Route to 19th-Century China."
Amitav Ghosh, who has earned international recognition as a novelist and writer, will present two Patten Lectures at Indiana University Bloomington. Born in Calcutta, India, and educated in India, the United Kingdom and Egypt, Ghosh creates work that cuts across cultural and political borders to explore individual experiences and aspirations during peace, war and times of disaster.
In “From Bombay to Canton,” Ghosh will explore what an Indian trader in the 18th century might have experienced in Guangzhou, the epicenter of the massive influx of opium into China. He will outline not only the impacts of the opium trade on China but also its significance on British-controlled India, a major opium-producing region.
The William T. Patten Foundation
The William T. Patten Foundation provides funds to bring distinguished scholars or practitioners in the sciences, the humanities and the arts to the Bloomington campus for a week. The foundation has brought over 150 scholars of extraordinary national and international distinction since 1937, making it the oldest lecture series at Indiana University. Lecturers are chosen by a campus-wide faculty committee.
William T. Patten graduated in 1893 with a Bachelor of Arts in history from IU. He then moved to Indianapolis and led a successful career in real estate and politics. He created an endowment for the university in 1931, with the purpose of bringing renowned leaders to the Bloomington campus.