The specular dream: Historical imaginary in speculative fiction of colonial Bengal


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


This article examines Bhudeb Mukhopadhyaya’s Swapnolabdho Bharatbarsher Itihas (History of India Revealed in a Dream) as a speculative dream narrative within the wider context of literary practices of colonial Bengal in the nineteenth century. History is a contested terrain within the colonial domain and intersects with pedagogy, politics, and technology in myriad ways. History in the text is also refracted through identitarian religious, gender, and caste prisms. We investigate Bhudeb’s text within these sites, arguing that the text represents a contradictory colonial modernity that negotiates the historical self through the speculative possibility of a dream.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Commonwealth Literature
Early online date20 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sept 2022

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© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Bengal
  • Bhudeb Mukhopadhyaya
  • dream narratives
  • nineteenth century
  • postcolonial history
  • speculative fiction


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