This groundbreaking book brings together two key themes that have not been addressed together previously in any sustained way: domestic service and colonization. Colonization offers a rich and exciting new paradigm for analyzing the phenomenon of domestic labor by non-family workers, paid and otherwise. Colonization is used here in its broadest sense, to refer to the expropriation and exploitation of land and resources by one group over another, and encompassing imperial/extraction and settler modes of colonization, internal colonization, and present-day neo-colonialism. Contributors from diverse fields and disciplines share new and stimulating insights on the various connections between domestic employment and the processes of colonization, both past and present, in a range of original essays dealing with Indonesian, Canadian Aboriginal, Australian Aboriginal, Pacific Islander, African, Jamaican, Indian, Chinese, Anglo-Indian, Sri Lankan, and 'white' domestic servants.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Decolonizing Domestic Service: Introducing a New Agenda Victoria K. Haskins and Claire Lowrie 1. An Historical Perspective: Colonial Continuities in the Global Geography of Domestic Service B. W. Higman Part I: Anxieties and Intimacies Victoria K. Haskins and Claire Lowrie 2. Domesti-city: Colonial Anxieties and Postcolonial Fantasies in the Figure of the Maid Shireen Ally 3. Settling In, From Within: Anglo-Indian ‘Lady Helps’ in 1920s New Zealand Jane McCabe 4. ‘Ah Look Afta De Child Like Is Mine’: Discourses of Mothering in Jamaican Domestic Service, 1920-1970 Michele A. Johnson 5. ‘Always a Good Demand’: Aboriginal Child Domestic Servants in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Australia Shirleene Robinson 6. Maids’ Talk: Linguistic Containment and Mobility for Sri Lankan Housemaids in Lebanon Fida Bizri 7. Foreign Domestic Workers in Singapore: Historical and Contemporary Reflections on the Colonial Politics of Intimacy Maria Platt Part II: Domination and Resistance Victoria K. Haskins and Claire Lowrie 8. ‘Strictly Legal Means’: Assault, Abuse and the Limits of Acceptable Behaviour in the Servant/Employer Relationship in Metropole and Colony 1850-1890 Fae Dussart 9. Imperial Legacies and Neoliberal Realities: Domestic Worker Organizing in Postcolonial New York City Alana Lee Glaser 10. Tactics of Survival: Images of Aboriginal Women and Domestic Service Michael Aird 11. ‘I Would Like the Girls at Home’: Domestic Labor and the Age of Discharge at Canadian Indian Residential Schools Mary Jane Logan McCallum 12. White Women and Chinese ‘Houseboys’: Domestic Politics in Singapore and Darwin from the 1910s to the 1930s Claire Lowrie Part III: Legacies and Dreams Victoria K. Haskins and Claire Lowrie 13. Baby Halder’s A Life Less Ordinary: A Transition from India’s Colonial Past? Swapna M. Banerjee 14. From Our Own Backyard?: Understanding UK Au Pair Policy as Colonial Legacy and Neo-Colonial Dream Rosie Cox 15. Taking Colonialism Home: Cook Island ‘Housegirls’ in New Zealand, 1939-1948 Charlotte Macdonald 16. British Caribbean Women Migrants and Domestic Service in Latin America, 1850-1950: Race, Gender and Colonial Legacies Nicola Foote 17. Contemporary Balinese Cruise Ship Workers, Passengers and Employers: Colonial Patterns of Domestic Service Pamela Nilan, Luh Putu Artini and Steven Threadgold 18. A Contemporary Perspective: ‘Picking the Fruit from the Tree’: From Colonial Legacy to Global Protections in Transnational Domestic Worker Activism Jennifer N. Fish Conclusion: Agency, Representation, and Subalternity: Some Concluding Thoughts Victoria K. Haskins and Claire Lowrie
Victoria K. Haskins is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Claire Lowrie is a Lecturer in History at the University of Wollongong, Australia.