The Limits of British Colonial Control in South Asia: Spaces of Disorder in the Indian Ocean Region, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Limits of British Colonial Control in South Asia

Spaces of Disorder in the Indian Ocean Region, 1st Edition

Edited by Ashwini Tambe, Harald Fischer Tiné


226 pages

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This book assesses British colonialism in South Asia in a transnational light, with the Indian Ocean region as its ambit, and with a focus on ‘subaltern’ groups and actors. It breaks new ground by combining new strands of research on colonial history. Thinking about colonialism in dynamic terms, the book focuses on the movement of people of the lower orders that imperial ventures generated.

Challenging the assumed stability of colonial rule, the social spaces featured are those that threatened the racial, class and moral order instituted by British colonial states. By elaborating on the colonial state's strategies to control perceived 'disorder' and the modes of resistance and subversion that subaltern subjects used to challenge state control, a picture of British Empire as an ultimately precarious, shifting and unruly formation is presented, which is quite distinct from its self-projected image as an orderly entity.

Thoroughly researched and innovative in its approach, this book will be a valuable resource for scholars of Asian, British imperial/colonial, transnational and international history.

Table of Contents

Introduction Ashwini Tambe and Harald Fischer-Tiné Part I. Subaltern Mobility and the Problem of Control and Containment 1. Networks of Subordination and Networks of the Subordinated: The Case of South Asian Maritime Labour under British Imperialism (c. 1890-1947) Ravi Ahuja 2. Passport, Ticket, and India Rubber-stamp: `The Problem of the Pauper Pilgrim' in Colonial India (c.1882-1925) Radhika Singha 3. ‘Heshima’ – British War Time Propaganda to East African Troops in Ceylon, (1943-45)Katrin Bromber Part II. Subalternity, Race and the Transgression of Moral Boundaries 4. Discourses of Exclusion and the ‘Convict Stain’ in the Indian Ocean (c. 1800-1850) Clare Anderson 5. Flotsam and Jetsam of the Empire? European Seamen and Spaces of Disease and Disorder in mid-Nineteenth Century Calcutta Harald Fischer-Tiné 6. Degenerate Whites and their Spaces of Disorder: Disciplining Racial and class Ambiguities in Colonial Calcutta, (c. 1880 - 1930) Satoshi Mizutani 7. Hierarchies of Subalternity: Managed Stratification in Bombay’s Brothels, 1914 -1930 Ashwini Tambe

About the Editors

Ashwini Tambe is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research interests include gender and sexuality in South Asia, colonial history and globalization, and specifically the history of the sex trade in colonial Bombay.

Harald Fischer-Tiné is Professor of History at Jacobs University, Bremen. He holds a PhD in South Asian History from Heidelberg University (2000) and has published extensively on the social and cultural history of the British Raj and varieties of Hindu reform and Hindu nationalism in 19th and 20th century India.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Asia has undergone immense and far reaching changes: war, revolution, occupation, industrialization. This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political and social history of individual countries as well as more broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies