Second Workshop

Mumbai, 08-09 January 2020


The Second Workshop of the Focus Area "The Social Life of Commercial Trust: Comparative Historical Perspectives from Asia, Africa and Europe, 1600-1950", will take place at the Godrej Archives, Mumbai on 08-09 January 2020.

The workshop will revolve around : "Technologies of trust: Law, Custom and Procedure in historical and comparative perspective"

The conveners are Prof. Lakshmi Subramanian (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences) and Prof. Yannick Lemarchand (University of Nantes).

Concept Note

Academic Programme


DAY 1 (8 January 2020)


1.00-2.30                                             Lunch and Registration


2.30-3.00                                             Introducing the network and the seminar

                                                            Speakers:   Samuel JUBE and Lakshmi SUBRAMANIAN


3.30-4.30                                             Panel One (Archives and Archiving: New sources and methodologies)


                                                            Speakers:    Professor Yannick LEMARCHAND (excused)

                                                                                 Lakshmi SUBRAMANIAN, (TBA)


4.30-5.30                                            Special Session on Bombay/Mumbai and its archives

                                                            Speakers:    Shekhar KRISHNAN, (TBA)

                                                                                 Murali RANGANATHAN, (TBA)


5.30-7.00                                             Visit to the Godrej Archives and Permanent Exhibition





DAY 2 (9 January 2020)


9.30-10.30 A.M.                                 Keynote address by Professor Fahad BISHARA

Textual Infrastructure of Trans-Regional commerce in the Indian Ocean


10.30-11.00                                         Tea/Coffee


11.00-12.00                                         Panel 2 (State, Market and Commerce)


                                                           Chairperson:  Pierre GERVAIS

                                                           Speakers:      Lewis WADE,

Law, Trust and Political economy in French Maritime Insurance 1664-1710

                                                                                 Jérôme SGARD,

The Legal construction of an integrated domestic economy under the French Ancien regime


12.00-1.30                                           Panel 3 (Trust and Community Networks)


                                                           Chairperson:  Samuel JUBE

                                                           Speakers:     Cisse CHIKOUNA,

Trust in Jula networks

                                                                                Santanu SENGUPTA,

Law and the Community: Modalities of Trust among the Armenians in the Eighteenth Century Indian Ocean

                                                                                 Syed FAISAL, (TBA)


1.30-3.00                                             Lunch


3.00-4.00                                             Panel 4 (Law, Jurisdiction and Dominance)


                                                            Chairperson:   Professor Fahad BISHARA

                                                             Speakers:       Farhat HASAN,

When Trust was in Deficit: Merchant disputes and the juridical space in early modern south Asia

                                                                                    Pierre GERVAIS,

The law weaponized: Legal rules and European merchants’ quest for dominance in early modern south Asia


End of Day’s proceedings


DAY 3 (10/1/20)


9.30-11.00                                           Panel 5 (Technologies of Trust: Cases from Colonial South Asia)


                                                           Chairperson:   Lakshmi SUBRAMANIAN

                                                           Speakers:       Shweta BANNERJEE,

’Bankers Trust in Early colonial India’

                                                                                   Marina MARTIN,

’Hundi, soft law and the British Indian courts’

                                                                                  Chhaya GOSWAMI,

’Sunderji Saudagar: Trading and Statesmanship in the early nineteenth century Gulf of Kachchh’


11.00-11.30                                        Tea/Coffee


11.30-12.30                                        Summing up: the way forward




Yannick LEMARCHAND(excused), Professor emeritus, Nantes University, and Correspondent member, IAS-Nantes, France

Lakshmi SUBRAMANIAN, Professor, Godrej Archives, Mumbai, India, and Associate fellow IAS-Nantes, France



Shweta BANNERJEE, Doctoral scholar, university of Toronto, Canada

Fahad BISHARA, Assistant professor, University of Virginia, United-States

Cisse CHIKOUNA, Associate professor, University of Cocody, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Syed FAISAL, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru, India

Pierre GERVAIS, Porfessor, University Paris 3, France

Chhaya GOSWAMI, Assistant professor, Bhavans College, Mumbai, India

Farhat HASAN, Professor, University of Delhi, India

Samuel JUBE, Professor, Grenoble Business School, and Permanent fellow, IAS-Nantes, France

Shekhar KRISHNAN, Independent researcher, Mumbai, India

Marina MARTIN, Researcher, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Sunderji SAUDAGAR,

Santanu SENGUPTA, Assistant professor, Calcutta University, India

Jérôme SGARD, Professor, CERI, SciencesPo Paris, France

Lewis WADE, Doctoral student, University of Exeter, United Kingdom