For two hundred years India was the jewel in the British imperial crown. During the course of governing India – the Raj – a number of words came to have particular meanings in the imperial lexicon. This book documents the words and terms that the British used to describe, define, understand and judge the subcontinent. It offers insight into the cultures of the Raj through a sampling of its various terms, concepts and nomenclature, and utilizes critical commentaries on specific domains to illuminate not only the linguistic meaning of a word but its cultural and political nuances.
This fascinating book also provides literary and cultural texts from the colonial canon where these Anglo-Indian colloquialisms, terms and official jargon occurred. It enables us to glean a sense of the Empire’s linguistic and cultural tensions, negotiations and adaptations. The work will interest students and researchers of history, language and literature, colonialism, cultural studies, imperialism and the British Raj, and South Asian studies.
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Pramod K. Nayar teaches at the Department of English, University of Hyderabad, India. His most recent books include The Indian Graphic Novel: Nation, History and Critique (Routledge, 2016), The Transnational in English Literature: Shakespeare to the Modern (Routledge, 2015), the edited Postcolonial Studies: An Anthology (2015) and the Postcolonial Studies Dictionary (2015). A book on human rights and literature and an edited five-volume collection Indian Travel Writing, 1830–1947 (Routledge) are forthcoming.