Imperial Technology and 'Native' Agency (Open Access): A Social History of Railways in Colonial India, 1850-1920, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Imperial Technology and 'Native' Agency (Open Access)

A Social History of Railways in Colonial India, 1850-1920, 1st Edition

By Aparajita Mukhopadhyay

Routledge

242 pages

Book Content Available Open Access*
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*Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license

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Hardback: 9781138226685
pub: 2018-05-03
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Description

This book explores the impact of railways on colonial Indian society from the commencement of railway operations in the mid-nineteenth to the early decades of the twentieth century.

The book represents a historiographical departure. Using new archival evidence as well as travelogues written by Indian railway travellers in Bengali and Hindi, this book suggests that the impact of railways on colonial Indian society were more heterogeneous and complex than anticipated either by India’s colonial railway builders or currently assumed by post-colonial scholars.

At a related level, the book argues that this complex outcome of the impact of railways on colonial Indian society was a product of the interaction between the colonial context of technology transfer and the Indian railway passengers who mediated this process at an everyday level. In other words, this book claims that the colonised ‘natives’ were not bystanders in this process of imposition of an imperial technology from above. On the contrary, Indians, both as railway passengers and otherwise influenced the nature and the direction of the impact of an oft-celebrated ‘tool of Empire’.

The historiographical departures suggested in the book are based on examining railway spaces as social spaces – a methodological index influenced by Henri Lefebvre’s idea of social spaces as means of control, domination and power.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Glossary

Introduction

Chapter 1: On Right Time? Railway Time And Travel Discipline In Colonial India

Chapter 2: A Ticket To Control? Limits Of Railway Travel Discipline In Colonial India

Chapter 3: A Shared Space? Contestation Of Station Spaces And Railway Travel Discipline In Colonial India

Chapter 4: Chariots Of Equality? Travelling In Railway Carriages And Social Transformation In Colonial India

Chapter 5: To Eat Or Not To Eat? Railway Travel, Commensality And Social Change In Colonial India

Chapter 6: A Nation On The Move? Railway Travel And Conceptualisations Of Space In Colonial India

Chapter 7: Shared Spaces, Shifting Identities: Railway Travel And Notions Of Identity And Community In Colonial India

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

Aparajita Mukhopadhyay is a history lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS015000
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HIS017000
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
HIS054000
HISTORY / Social History