Kipling in the News

 The Speakers


Aaron Ackerley is an early career historian who focuses on modern British and imperial history, with a particular interest in the intersections between politics and the media. He completed a Wolfson Foundation-funded PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2020 entitled ‘Economic Ideas in the Interwar British Daily Press’ and he is currently working as a Teaching Associate at Queen Mary University of London. Aaron has recently had chapters published on the professional identities of journalists in twentieth-century Britain, the political economy of the Guardian, and the history of ‘free speech’ and the British press. He is currently completing an article on the Lord Beaverbrook’s Empire Crusade campaign of 1929-31. Aaron is interested in both the historical influence of Kipling on the media in Britain and its Empire and his more general influence over popular imperial cultures.


Vinita Dhondiyal Bhatnagar is Professor at the Department of Humanities, at a state technological University in Madhya Pradesh, India. She has been Visiting Professor at the University of York, Toronto and is the author of many books and monographs. Besides her academic interest in films and popular culture, she is also a performance storyteller.  It is her interest in stories that keeps bringing her back to Kipling.


Elleke Boehmer FRSL FRHistS FEA is Professor of World Literature in the English Faculty, Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College. Her own work on colonial and postcolonial literature has repeatedly had to confront the global currency of Kipling, whether his antipodean imitators in the late 19th century, or his resurfacing in Rushdie and Roy, among many others, in the late 20th. Elleke’s recent work includes Postcolonial Poetics (2018) and Indian Arrivals (2015), which won the biennial ESSE prize 2015-16. Boehmer’s recent fiction includes To the Volcano (2019) and The Shouting in the Dark (2015), winner of the EASA Olive Schreiner Prize for Prose, 2018.


Howard J. Booth is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Manchester. Amongst other research interests, his work on Kipling includes a number of articles on the author and editing The Cambridge Companion to Rudyard Kipling. He is also on the reading committee of the Kipling Journal.


Dominic Davies is a Senior Lecturer in English at City, University of London, where he is also director of the BA English programme. He holds a DPhil and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Oxford. He is the author of two books and more than twenty peer reviewed articles broadly in the field of colonial and postcolonial politics, literature, and culture. He is currently writing a cultural history of infrastructure development in modern Britain, provisionally entitled Levelling Up? British Infrastructure and the Politics of Empire, Nation, and Race (forthcoming with Lawrence & Wishart in 2022).


Gary Enstone is House & Collections Manager, Bateman’s, National Trust. Having studied International Relations at Undergraduate and Global Governance & International Security at Post-grad level, it was more by accident then design that Gary Enstone found himself within the museum and conservation industry. After working for short periods at National Trust country estates Osterley Park and Lyme Park, Gary moved to Rudyard Kipling’s home Bateman’s in 2007. Since then, Gary has been the onsite House Manager/Custodian, looking after Bateman’s and the Rudyard Kipling collection. Over the last 14 years, Gary’s life has been intertwined with that of the Kipling family, firstly in the daily opening of the house to volunteers and visitors throughout the year, but also in the detailed time that Gary has spent in the historical spaces and with the collection itself.

Interestingly, Gary himself lives at Bateman’s, giving him a unique perspective to the Kipling’s way of life. From lockdowns to Christmas Days, and from early morning film crews to late night security there are many sides of Bateman’s that the public do not witness. As a complete contrast to the world of Kipling, Gary also manages the medieval Bodiam Castle, which is a short distance from Bateman’s.


Angela Eyre is an Associate Lecturer in English and Honorary Associate at the Open University, UK. She is the author of ‘Mind the Gap: Hindi, Urdu and Hindustani words in Kipling’s Kim’ in Kipling in India: India in Kipling ed. by Trivedi and Montefiore (Routledge, 2021); ‘Organised Peasant Resistance in Fiction: The Sword and the

Sickle and The Lives of Others’ in South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal 21. 2019 and A Reader’s Guide to A Suitable Boy (Continuum, 2002). She is currently Deputy Chair of the Kipling Society.


Chandrika Kaul is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews, Scotland,

U.K. Her main research interests span the British Empire and especially the British Raj, Media and Communications, and the Monarchy in modern history. Her monographs include Reporting the Raj, the British Press and India (Studies in Imperialism series, Manchester UP 2003 & Indian edition 2017); and, Communications, Media and the Imperial Experience: Britain and India in the Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan 2014, 2017). Amongst her edited and co-edited books are Media and the British Empire (2006, 2013); Explorations in Modern Indian History and the Media (Media History 2009); International Communications and Global News Networks (2011); News of the World and the British Press 1843–2011 (2015); Media and the Portuguese Empire (2017); and M. K. Gandhi, Media, Politics and Society: New Perspectives (2020). She has also written over thirty articles in peer reviewed journals and edited collections. She is a Co-Founder and Co-Editor of the book series: ‘Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media’ (Palgrave Macmillan). She sits on the Advisory and Editorial Boards of the journals Media History (Routledge) and Twentieth Century British History (OUP), as well as the book series, Studies in Imperialism (MUP). She is a co-founder and former Vice President of the South Asian Studies Association (USA) and currently sits on its Board. In addition to several research grants and fellowships, she is the recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, 2020-22.


Sarah Lonsdale is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at City, University of London. Her first book, The Journalist in British Fiction and Film (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) includes an analysis of Kipling’s attitudes to the mass press and the intersection between journalism, storytelling and propaganda in the short story ‘The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat’. Her latest book, Rebel Women Between the Wars: Fearless Writers and Adventurers was published by MUP in October 2020. Her peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Literature and History, Media History and the Women’s History Review and she has written two articles for the Kipling Journal on Kipling’s early journalism and his relationship with the mass media. A former reporter for the Observer newspaper, she still writes for the Sunday Times and the Times Literary Supplement. Her next book, Wild Quintet (2024) examines five historical women’s engagement with the wild outdoors, and how they challenged patriarchal obstacles against their access to it.


Jan Montefiore is Professor Emerita of the University of Kent, where she taught English Literature from 1978 to 2015. She published her first article ‘Day and Night in Kipling’ in 1978.  Her essay ‘Latin, Arithmetic and Pedagogy’, on Kim and ‘Regulus’ appeared in Modernism and Empire, eds. Howard Booth and Nigel Rigby (Manchester University Press 2001), and her critical study Rudyard Kipling (Writers and their Work) followed in 2007. She became General Editor of Kipling titles for Penguin Classics, herself editing The Man Who Would Be King and Other Stories (2011) and has directed conference and symposia on Kipling at the University of Kent (2007), the Institute of Advanced Studies in London (2011), at Marlboro College in Vermont, USA (2013) and with Professor Harish Trivedi at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Shimla in 2016. She has edited the essay collection In Time’s Eye: Essays on Rudyard Kipling (Manchester University Press 2013) and with Harish Trivedi co-edited the recent Kipling in India: India in

Kipling (Routledge, 2020), based on the IIAS symposium which they co-directed. Since June 2013 she has been Editor of the quarterly Kipling Journal, and is currently Chairman of the Kipling Society.


David Alan Richards is a retired New York City property lawyer, and the newly-elected President of the Kipling Society. In addition to his contributions to the Society Journal, he has published Rudyard Kipling: The Books I Leave Behind (Yale University Press, 2007), the catalogue of the exhibition of his Kipling collection, the largest in the world, at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book Library), and Rudyard Kipling: A Bibliography (British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2010). He has also written Skulls and Keys: The Hidden History of Yale’s Secret Societies (Pegasus Press, 2017), and, forthcoming this autumn, I Give These Books: The History of the Yale University Library, 1656-2016 (Oak Knoll Press). He holds degrees from Yale College (BA 1967), Cambridge University where he was a Keasbey Scholar (BA 1969, MA 1971), and Yale Law School (J.D., 1972).


Harry Ricketts teaches English literature and creative writing at Victoria University of Wellington Te Herenga Waka, New Zealand. He has published around 30 books. These include literary biographies ‒ The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling (1999) and Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War (2010) – a selection of Kipling’s poems, The Long Trail (2004), personal essays, a cricket book, several anthologies and twelve collections of poems (most recently Selected Poems, 2021). His more recent articles on Kipling include: “Kipling and Europe: Some Actions and Reactions”, Kipling Journal (July 2017); “What Rudyard Kipling Can Do for You”, Kipling Journal (March 2017); “The Persistence of Kim”, The Oxford History of the Novel in English, vol 9, The World Novel in English to 1950 (2016); “‘A Kipling-conditioned World’: Kipling among the War Poets”, In Time’s Eye: Essays on Rudyard Kipling (2013); and “‘Nine and sixty ways’: Kipling, Ventriloquist Poet”, The Cambridge Companion to Kipling (2011).


Mohammad Saleem is an Assistant Professor of Arabic, School of Foreign Languages, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) New Delhi. He is the Coordinator of Arabic and Persian Programmes. He writes in Arabic, English and Urdu and has published more than 30 articles in national and international journals. He is deeply interested in Classical Arabic and Persian literary canons. Among his latest publications is Arabic commentary on literary canons of Abbasid period titles Al-jawahir Al-Fareedah min Manahil Al-Adab Al-Arabi (Unique Gems from the Ocean of Arabic Literature). He is equally interested in post-colonial English and Urdu literature. Presently he is working on understanding the role of Urdu, Persian and Arabic poetry during colonial period. In this context, Rudyard Kipling and his poems and writings have grabbed his attention. Now he is trying to understand how Indian literature in Urdu, Arabic and Persian served as counterforce to the idea of White Man’s Burden, of Kipling.


George Simmers   After a career in teaching, George Simmers researched a Ph.D. In the prose literature of the First World War. He has published papers and chapters on Kipling, Arnold Bennett, ‘Sapper’, P.G Wodehouse and the soldiers’ songs of the war. Contributions to the Kipling Journal include: ‘Kipling and Shell-Shock: The Healing Community’ (April 2008) and “The Church that was at Antioch’: Kipling’s Verdict on the War’ (September 2015). Other writings on Kipling can be found in his blog: Great War Fiction.


Harish Trivedi, former Professor of English at the University of Delhi, was visiting professor at Chicago, London, Istanbul, Beijing and Melbourne. He is the author of Colonial Transactions: English Literature and India (1993), and has co-edited Literature and Nation: Britain and India 1800-1990 (2000); Post-colonial Translation (1999), and Interrogating Post-colonialism (1996). He is currently co-editing a volume of essays on Indian Literary Historiography, and is one of the contributing editors of an international project based in Stockholm for writing a history of World Literature. He has edited with an introduction and notes Kipling’s Kim for Penguin Classics (2011), and co-edited (with Janet Montefiore) Kipling in India: India in Kipling (2020). He contributed an essay on ‘Reading Kipling in India’ to the Cambridge Companion to Kipling (2011), and has also published (in other volumes and journals including the Kipling Journal) essays on Kipling and his father, Kipling and E. M. Forster, Kipling and Edward Said, Kipling and the Indian vernaculars, and Kipling and the Indian gods. He is currently a Vice-President of the Kipling Society UK.


Monica Turci is Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Literatures, Languages and Cultures of the University of Bologna. She has contributed the chapter ‘Kipling and the Visual’ for the Cambridge Companion on Rudyard Kipling (2011), has written on Kipling and Gramsci (The Kipling Journal 2017) and on the illustrations in the first Italian translation of The Jungle Books (Multimodal Epistemologies. Toward an Integrated Framework Routledge 2014). In 2016, she organized the international conference Rudyard Kipling and Europe and co-edited its proceedings with Janet Montefiore for The Kipling Journal (2017).


Minna Vuohelainen is Reader in English at City, University of London. Her current research focuses on fin-de-siècle print culture, genre (particularly Gothic and crime fiction), London literatures and the Spatial Humanities. Her publications include the monograph Richard Marsh (University of Wales Press, 2015), the coedited essay collections Interpreting Primo Levi: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Palgrave, 2015, with Arthur Chapman) and Richard Marsh, Popular Fiction and Literary Culture, 1890–1915: Rereading the Fin de Siècle (Manchester University Press, 2018, with Victoria Margree and Daniel Orrells), and special issues of Victorian Periodicals Review on the Strand Magazine (coedited with Emma Liggins, 2019) and of Victorian Popular Fictions Journal on ‘Mapping Victorian Popular Fictions’ (2019). Her articles have appeared in English Studies, Journal of Literature and Science, Crime Fiction Studies, Clues and Victorian Periodicals Review, and she has produced four critical editions of Richard Marsh’s fiction for Valancourt Books. An article on Rudyard Kipling’s Gothic short fiction is forthcoming in Gothic Studies.