Current research: Nomads, “Gypsies,” and Criminals in England and India

On February 27, 2020 part of the World History seminars at Cambridge University, Cristina-Ioana Dragomir will hold a lecture, titled: Nomads, “Gypsies,” and Criminals in England and India from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century. The talk is based on Dr. Dragomir’s article, published earlier this year in Critical Romani Studies ( Employing a critical approach, and engaging in a bold comparison between India and England, this work unveils how the intersection of nomadism, the “Gypsy” label, and criminality was not a “natural” occurrence, but one that came about through legal and literary discourses that have been used systematically since the seventeenth century. Different from previous work that analyzed how nomadism and criminality came to be linked  in specific countries, this work focuses its investigation on comparing several of the dominant discourses in England and India from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, revealing how criminalization of those who move in India preceded British colonial rule and highlighting how similar forms of community criminalization took place across the world.