Dr Dominic Vendell
Honorary Research Fellow
I am a historian of South Asia. My main research concerns law, diplomacy, and sociocultural exchange in the eighteenth-century Maratha empire with particular attention to forms and practices of documentation.
At Exeter, I work with Dr. Nandini Chatterjee and Dr. Elizabeth Thelen on an ERC-funded collaborative research project titled Forms of Law in the Early Modern Persianate World, 17th-19th Centuries.
My main research concerns law, diplomacy, and sociocultural exchange in the eighteenth-century Maratha empire with particular attention to forms and practices of documentation. Currently, I am developing a book project that examines the expansion of diplomatic networks between the Maratha state of Nagpur in central India and its allies, rivals, and clients, amidst the transition from Mughal to British rule.
In connection with the Forms of Law in the Early Modern Persianate World project, I conduct research on Persian and Marathi-Persian bilingual legal, administrative, and political documentation. The overarching goal of this project, which encompasses legal documents written in Persian and other languages in five major linguistic-cultural zones, is to understand how both skilled practitioners and ordinary people used complex documentary forms to claim and negotiate entitlements. Within this purview, I aim to investigate several key issues, including typologies of Persianate documentary forms in Marathi; uses of documentation in the context of political negotiation; and the interaction of spoken and written forms of legal attestation.
To read more about this work, please visit the Lawforms blog.