In this page, I will list my publications that have already been published or that have been accepted and are awaiting publication. To respect double-blind peer-review, I will not be listing my books and articles that are currently under review.
1. S. Bonnerjee (ed), Subaltern Women’s Narratives: Strident Voices, Dissenting Bodies, Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality series (New York: Routledge, 2021).
2. A. Moncrieff, S. Bonnerjee, L. Bell and M. Butterfield (eds) Global Legacies of the First World War: Post-War to Post-Centenary (London: Bloomsbury, 2022). [under contract]
Journal Special Issue:
3. K. Ebury and S. Bonnerjee (eds), ‘Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis’, Open Library of the Humanities Special Collection. [open access special journal issue].
Full issue published: June 4, 2020.
This special issue analyses psychological subjectivity at the turn of the century in Britain and the United States, focusing on subjectivity to law and to punishment. It takes interdisciplinary approaches from psychoanalysis, philosophy and law to connect psychoanalysis with crime and punishment in the twentieth century.
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:
4. S. Bonnerjee, “Cosmopolitanism, Colonial Shopping, and the Servant Problem: Nurse Ida E. Cliffe’s Travels in Wartime India,” Studies in Travel Writing 22, no. 3 (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13645145.2019.1565722 [9979 words]
Ida E. Cliffe was posted in India as a nurse during the First World War. In a travel memoir that she publishes sixty years after the end of the war, she captures her extensive travels across wartime colonial India. Her travel diary combines two distinct positions—that of the woman-coloniser recording her travel in the colonies, and of the nurse in a war-zone. It focuses on the British coloniser’s home-life in India, the picturesque landscape of the country, the cosmopolitanism of its people, and its recent history.
Working across the intersections of class, gender, race, and employment status, this article explores the problematic nuances in Cliffe’s celebration of colonial cosmopolitanism, her shopping for colonial artefacts (despite being a financially-independent working-class woman), and her appreciation of the picturesque embedded within the subtext of pride for British imperialism. It demonstrates not only the complexities in the figure of the female imperial traveller, but also the heteroglossia in the genre of women’s travel writing.
5. S. Bonnerjee, “‘This Country is Rotten’: Australian Nurses in India during World War I and Their Encounters with Race and Nationhood,” Australian Journal of Politics and History 65, no. 1 (2019). DOI: 10.1111/ajph.12537 [9464 words]
Some 560 members of the Australian Army Nursing Services served in hospitals in India between 1916 and 1919. In their correspondences home to their families, to the Director-General of Medical Services in Melbourne, and in their private diaries, these women revealed their confused encounters with race and nationhood. Emerging from a country which avidly followed the ‘White Australia’ policy, these women practised differences along three lines: colour, culture, and space.
This article will examine the writings of these nurses, to reveal the plurality of female engagements with empire, taking into account the inherent irony in the imperialist machinations of white women from the dominion nation of Australia. The article will also reveal how these nurses make a “grave” and basic mistake — as expounded by Ernest Renan in his 1882 Sorbonne lecture — by confusing race with nation. I will ultimately argue that the Australian nurses in India during World War I had been set as pawns by their own government in the greater game of colonial power by analysing one instance of sexual control, a “scandal” which was censored by the Australian government, but which demonstrated how the latter used gender inequalities as an essential instrument for the perpetration of colonial racism and imperial authority.
6. S. Bonnerjee, “‘The Lure of War’: Reconsidering the Motivations of Women to Volunteer in the First World War,” Women’s History Review DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2019.1608683 [10,362 words].
This article argues that the motivations for British women to volunteer for the First World War was more nuanced and complicated than the formulaic binaries of patriotism versus pacifism. It reads the war-time memoirs of two women in military medical care, May Sinclair’s A Journal of Impressions in Belgium and Olive Dent’s A Volunteer Nurse on the Western Front to demonstrate how understanding of gender roles and nationalist affiliations rendered complexity to the reasons why certain women volunteered for war-work. These two women volunteered very early in the war and published their life-writing during the war (1915 and 1917 respectively). Consequently, they did not have the advantage of hindsight, and their writings were very much the product of the immediate pressures of the war environment. By reading the memoirs of these women and unpacking their overt motives to volunteer, this article reveals the nuances in the reasons women volunteered to engage in military medical work during the First World War.
7. S. Bonnerjee, “From Kaiserswerth to the Crimea: Florence Nightingale and the Shared Histories of British and German Nursing in the Nineteenth Century,” Endeavour [Accepted: 10,064 words].
This paper seeks to unravel the German roots of Florence Nightingale’s training as a nurse, arguing that the primary tenets of British nursing are rooted in nineteenth-century German work ethic. It will critically examine Nightingale’s work in the Crimea, as recorded by her in her writings, by comparing it with her training at Kaiserswerth. Ultimately, this paper will demonstrate the interconnected cultures of British and German nursing traditions in the long nineteenth century, beginning with Florence Nightingale, and continuing with the work of two daughters of Queen Victoria: Princess Royal Victoria of Prussia and Princess Helena of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The revelation of this interconnected history and family ties will lay bare the irony that the century of shared knowledge and philosophy resulted in nurses from the two nations nursing soldiers on opposite sides during the First World War.
Peer-reviewed Book Chapters:
8. S. Bonnerjee, “The Home and the World: War-Torn Landscape and Literary Imagination of a Bengali Military Doctor in Mesopotamia During World War I” in Selena Daly, Martina Salvante and Vanda Wilcox (eds) Landscapes of the First World War (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 157–70. In Print.
Over one million Indians served in the First World War. It was a long way to Mesopotamia—the theatre of war for most of the Indian soldiers—from their remote towns and villages across India. A doctor from Calcutta, Captain Kalyan Mukherji, meticulously recorded his displacement from Bengal to Mesopotamia in the form of letters written to his mother. This paper examines how Mukherji imagined, encountered, and experienced the war-torn Mesopotamian landscape.
I demonstrate how, advantaged with an English education and the exposure to European cultural hegemony in Bengal, Mukherji negotiates his disappointment with the war-ravaged landscape falling short of the pre-existing (exotic) literary landscapes of his mind (Arabian Nights), by practising a version of Orientalism in Said’s terms, and by performing (borrowing Bhaba’s terminology) “colonial mimicry”, in applying English poetic imagery to imagine the gardens of Basra and Baghdad. I establish how Mukherji attempts to reconcile with the real Mesopotamian landscape, by offering a scathing indictment of patriotism as “seizing a piece of land”, thus condemning the colonial ambitions of the British and the French, and prefiguring Rabindranath Tagore’s wariness about nationalism in the latter’s 1916 novel The Home and the World (ঘরেবাইরে).
9. S. Bonnerjee, “‘It Still Haunts Me’: Trauma and Shell Shock in the Writings of the Nurses of the First World War” in Austin Reide (ed.) Trans Atlantic Shell Shock: British and American Literatures of World War One Trauma (Dahlonega, GA: University of North Georgia Press, 2019), 95–124. In Print.
With the introduction of conscription in 1916, more British men left to fight at the Front, and British women were entrusted entirely with the industry of care. They voluntarily took up the business of repairing men’s bodies, working under horrific conditions, and were themselves often victims of shelling. Although barred from actual combat in the Front, these women served an important function in the business of War, by repairing wounded soldiers and sending them back to fight, fighting against severe wounds, blood loss, infections, and, in effect, death itself. In the course of performing these functions, they were exposed to horribly-mutilated male bodies, and were witnesses to soldiers suffering from acute neurasthenia and shell shock.
In this chapter I consider what effect this exposure and witnessing have on the minds of the nurses themselves, and I turn to their diaries and memoirs to read how they struggle and seek to understand and represent their experiences in their writings. The diaries reveal instances of hallucination and repetitive nightmares, and physical manifestations of fear through nausea, sleeplessness, and bouts of fainting; and some nurses speak about being able to smell the solution in their hands sixty years after the end of the First World War.
By examining such instances in their writings, I also uncover symptoms of war neurosis and shell shock, which had been relegated only to front-line warfare, and as afflictions unique only to men. In my analysis, I refer to Julia Kristeva’s theories of abjection, along with Freud’s notion of the uncanny and his 1920 essay ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’, Ferenczi’s Clinical Diary and Lacan’s seminars on anxiety to frame my arguments. The texts I will be reading are a range of writings by British and American, trained and volunteer nurses: Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth, Helen Zenna Smith’s (Evadne Price) Not So Quiet, Mary Borden’s The Forbidden Zone, Ellen N. La Motte’s The Backwash of War, and Lyn Macdonald’s collection of interviews of British and American nurses of the First World War in the late seventies, The Roses of No Man’s Land.
10. S. Bonnerjee, “Indian Writings of the First World War,” in Jane Potter and Ralf Schneider (eds), Handbook of British Literature and Culture of the First World War (Berlin: deGruyter, 2021). [6712 words; By invitation]
This chapter considers the literary outputs from India as the backdrop of the First World War. Reviewing the writings of several prominent Indian writers and thinkers alongside their political activism, the chapter argues for a nuanced reading of Indian texts and motivations for Indian participation in a colonial war. It then considers two texts as case-studies to uncover the rich and complex relationship of written language, anti-colonialism, and militarism inherent in the literature of India from this period.
11. S. Bonnerjee, “British Colonial Re-affirmation at the 1918−1920 Moment: Appropriation, Dehumanisation, and the Rule of Colonial Difference,” in Romain Fathi, Margaret Hutchison, Andrekos Varnava and Michael Walsh (eds), The British Empire Beyond the Armistice: The 1918–20 ‘Moment’ Studies in Imperialism series (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2021). [8192 words; By invitation]
The British Empire at large became contingent sites of interracial contact and segregation, migration and ‘cosmopolitanism’, unrest and surveillance during the First World War. As belligerent soldiers and prisoners of war moved up and down the interstices of Empire, their co-habitation in the tense space of post-war colonies gave rise to a variety of responses in their personal writings. This chapter analyses the fashioning of ‘colonial agency’ in the British Empire against the backdrop of the end of the First World War. Reading archival documents of private writings by British soldiers who were still posted in India, colonial Burma, Mesopotamia, and North Africa between 1918 and 1920, it examines how these men performed colonial agency and imperial hegemony in their daily duties; how they observed the landscape and the (colonial) picturesque; how they recorded their interactions with colonial non-white soldiers as the latter demobilised; and how their imperial gaze permeated their othering of colonial subjects and their negotiations with the colonial space. Ultimately, the chapter argues that the hybridity in the volatile spaces of post-war colonial states rendered it necessary for the British soldier to re-fashion and perform colonial agency.
12. S. Bonnerjee, “Introduction: Subaltern Women’s Resistance” in S. Bonnerjee (ed),Subaltern Women’s Narratives: Strident Voices, Dissenting Bodies Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality series (New York: Routledge, 2021). [6505 words]
The Introduction elucidates the aims of this book. It gives a background of the Subaltern Studies collective to construe the figure of the subaltern woman. Clarifying the limits and possibilities of subaltern women’s resistance, the Introduction offers a literature review and an originality claim, before discussing the structure of the book and introducing each chapter.