Research Topic: Faith, freedom, friendship:
cross-cultural affective networks in the correspondence of C F Andrews, E J Thompson, and V H Elwin,
India and Europe, 1919 to 1964
I completed my qualifying medical degree at Oxford (Merton College), and took the Oxford degree of Doctor of Medicine with a thesis on 'The Spleen in Sickle Cell Anaemia in Early Childhood', based on clinical research in Jamaica. After retirement from medicine, I began the formal study of history with the Department of Continuing Education's on-line course on Elizabeth I, proceeding to the Department's Certificate in Historical Studies with a dissertation on James William Massie (an early Scottish missionary to India), and to the MSt with a dissertation on the support of three former missionaries (Charles Andrews, Edward Thompson, Verrier Elwin) for Nehru's vision for India.
My DPhil thesis examines correspondence within the networks of these three men, to demonstrate how, having been led by their religious faith to go to India as Christian missionaries, over time they abandoned their affiliations with their churches and dedicated themselves in different ways to the cause of Indian freedom. While doing so, they built strong cross-cultural friendships, independently of agreement or otherwise on religious and political concerns. The thesis explores these friendships, testing them against the postulates of Jacques Derrida's Politics of Friendship and the discussions of friendship in E. M. Forster's A Passage to India.
14 May 2021 Eastman Professor's Seminar: 'Time, Space, and "The Politics of Friendship"’
22 April 2022 ‘Race, Resistance and Belonging at the University of Oxford’ Seminar: 'A Challenging Guest: Gandhi’s Visits to Oxford in 1931'