1st Edition

Memory, Identity and the Colonial Encounter in India
Essays in Honour of Peter Robb

ISBN 9780367277888
Published March 28, 2019 by Routledge India
338 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

This book sheds new light on the dynamics of the colonial encounter between Britain and India. It highlights how various analytical approaches to this encounter can be creatively mobilised to rethink entanglements of memory and identity emerging from British rule in the subcontinent. This volume reevaluates central, long-standing debates about the historical impact of the British Raj by deviating from hegemonic and top-down civilizational perspectives. It focuses on interactions, relations and underlying meanings of the colonial experience. The narratives of memory, identity and the legacy of the colonial encounter are woven together in a diverse range of essays on subjects such as colonial and nationalist memorials; British, Eurasian, Dalit and Adivasi identities; regional political configurations; and state initiatives and patterns of control.

By drawing on empirically rich, regional and chronological historical studies, this book will be essential reading for students and researchers of history, political science, colonial studies, cultural studies and South Asian studies.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables


Foreword by Clive Dewey



PART 1 Memory and Identity

I Colonial Memory

1. Memory, Place and British Memorials in Early Calcutta: Peter Robb's Lecture Transcript Peter Robb

II Colonial Identities

2. On the Political History of Britishness in India: Lord Cornwallis and the Early Demise of Creole India Claude Markovits

3. Religion and Race: Eurasians in Colonial India Valerie Anderson

III Textual Representations of Memory and Identity

4. Texts of Liminality: Reading Identity in Dalit Autobiographies from Bengal Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

5. Paradoxes of Victimhood: Dalit Women’s Bodies as Polluted and Suffering in Colonial North India Charu Gupta

IV Sites of Memory and Identity Formation

6. Sites of Memory and Structures of Power in North India: Anandamath and Hanumangarhi William R. Pinch

7. Dispossessing Memory: Adivasi Oral Histories from the Margins of Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve, Central India Ezra Rashkow

PART 2 Colonial Encounters

I Encounters with Regional Governance

8. Heroinism and Its Weapons: Women Power Brokers in Early Modern Bhopal Richard B. Barnett

9. Changing Horses: The Administration of Sikkim, 1888-1918 Alex McKay

II Encounters with Surveillance and Resistance

10. Lost in Transit? Railway Crimes and the Regime of Control in Colonial India Aparajita Mukhopadhyay

11. From London to Calcutta: The ‘Bolshevik’ Outsider and Imperial Surveillance, 1917-21 Suchetana Chattopadhyay

III Encounters and ‘Improvement’

12. Competition or Collaboration? Importers of Salt, the East India Company, and the Salt Market in Eastern India, c. 1780–1836 Sayako Kanda

13. Challenging the 3Rs: Kindergarten Experiments in Colonial Madras Avril A. Powell

14. Scientific Knowledge and Practices of Green-Manuring in Bengal Presidency, 1905-1925 Sanjukta Ghosh

Appendix: Major Publications by Peter Robb


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Ezra Rashkow is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Montclair State University, USA.

Sanjukta Ghosh is Research Associate at the South Asia Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK.

Upal Chakrabarti is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Presidency University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.