Patrick D. Rasico is a Ph.D. candidate studying the history of modern Britain and empire. His research focuses upon the relationships between the processes of empire formation, the production of representations of India by Europeans, and how Britons collected and circulated South Asian artwork and artifacts in South Asia and in London during the latter part of the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. Rasico’s research explores larger questions of how Indian material culture and its movement to Britain encouraged a series of British re-imaginings of the geographic divisions and definitions of British and “oriental” spaces both in colonial India and in London. His dissertation examines how Britons’ uses, circulation, and display of Indian artworks and antiquities reflected and engendered continuous British reevaluations of the “oriental” nature of Indian and British peoples and geographies throughout the Georgian period.
The Department of History at The Pennsylvania State University honored his first M.A. thesis, “Auctions, Exotica, and Social Status: Categorizing and Perceiving South Asian Artwork and Antiquities in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” with an award for best research project in 2012. In addition, Rasico presented this thesis in a public forum at the Annual History Graduate Student Association Paper Competition Conference at The Pennsylvania State University. He delivered a paper entitled “Daniells' Calcutta: Visions of Life, Death, and Nabobery in Late Eighteenth-Century British India” at the North American Conference on British Studies in 2015. At the 2017 Southern Conference on British Studies, he presented a paper entitled, “Intellectual Circles and Collecting South Asian Coins in Georgian Britain: The Indian Specie and Collecting Practices of Sarah Sophia Banks.”
Rasico’s article, “Calcutta ‘In These Degenerate Days’: The Daniells’ Visions of Life, Death, and Nabobery in Late Eighteenth-Century British India,” will be published in The Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies in early 2019. His advisor is Professor James A. Epstein.