Colonial Formations highlights the critical importance of colonial dynamics at the so-called peripheries of the British Empire. With a focus on the Australasian settler colonies, the Pacific, India, and China, it examines colonised peoples’ subjectivities, mobilities and networks, through accounts of labour, law, education and activism.
Decentring the British metropole, while shedding light on its enduring power, contributors chart the vast array of mobilities and connections that shaped these dynamics. They illuminate contexts and experiences of labour, education, touring, courtrooms and anticolonial struggles. Many attend to questions of colonial belonging and its limits – within cultures of sociability – or citizenship and its attendant benefits and rights. The chapters show how colonised peoples, both Indigenous and ‘coloured’ migrants, critiqued and mobilised to challenge imposed strictures on their life possibilities, whether in individual colonies, in cross-colonial networks or across the imperial arena. In doing so, this collection offers new insights into the interplay of place, mobility and power, and on the critical importance of colonial formations.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal History Australia.
Introduction: on the critical importance of colonial formations
Jane Carey and Frances Steel
1. The New South Wales Bar and Aboriginal people: making Aboriginal subjects c. 1830–1866
Paula Jane Byrne
2. ‘A walk for our race’: colonial modernity, Indigenous mobility and the origins of the Young Māori Party
3. Potter v. Minahan: Chinese Australians, the law and belonging in White Australia
4. The ‘Chinese’ always belonged
5. ‘I am a British subject’: Indians in Australia claiming their rights, 1880–1940
6. Servant mobilities between Fiji and New Zealand: the transcolonial politics of domestic work and immigration restriction, c.1870–1920
7. Anticolonialism and the politics of friendship in New Zealand’s Pacific
8. The politics of friendship and cosmopolitan thought zones at the end of empire: Indian women’s study tours to Europe 1934–38