Renu Elizabeth Abraham


Indian Perspectives on Early Modern Maritime Portuguese Encounters with Kerala

My research focuses on the early modern maritime relations between Portugal and the coastal region of present-day Kerala, India, during the late 15th and early 16th centuries, beginning with the arrival of the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama in the port city of Calicut in the year 1498. Instead of drawing a direct link between the first arrival of the Portuguese and the later colonization of India by the British Empire, I plan to re-assess the period from a historical as well as comparative perspective to see the ways in which societies and cultures discovered each other through trade, conquest, and most importantly, the sea.

I have an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Madras Christian College, Tamil Nadu. At the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, I pursued an MA and MPhil in English Literature and completed the PhD coursework in Cultural Studies. While at the University, I also worked part-time as an English language teacher.