Crime and Empire
The Colony in Nineteenth-century Fictions of Crime
By (author) Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee
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Crime and Empire by Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee
Book DescriptionThe language of crime and punishment is everywhere, especially in the context of building new global orders where old imperial relationships between the west and the rest of the world are being redefined and redesigned. This book is about one of the formative moments of this rhetorical strategy of representing empires. By looking at a variety of British narratives about India being produced from the later half of the eighteenth century onwards, it suggests that the discourse of crime was one of the major representative tools which the British employed to understand, imagine, and rule the vast country. However, to understand the full implication of this strategy for British understanding of both the colonised 'others' and a particular image of 'self', we must study the formation of this discourse not only in the context of the colony, but of its peculiar importance within 'domestic' Britain itself. Nineteenth-Century British society placed a huge amount of importance on issues of crime, punishment, order, and policing. These issues became fundamental to British claims of being a civilised nation. Naturally, they became an important part of British colonial/imperial strategy. But, since in Britain these issues were sites of contest and not consent, of debate and opposition and not unquestioned hegemonic power, they were inherently risky tools to use in building an ideology of empire. As the various readings of the narratives employing 'fictions' of crime offered here shows, an opposition or critique of empire was formed through these fictions even as they were used to build a consensus for empire-building. The slippages and ambiguities associated with imperial narratives then, are not products of some inherent semiotic disorder. Rather, they grew out of a particular history within which the rhetoric employed by these narratives took shape. This book is an attempt to recover the traces of that history within the various imperial fictions of crime.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199261055
(223mm x 145mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 9-Oct-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee
Natural Disasters and Victorian Empire, Hardback (September 2013)
Natural Disasters and Victorian Empire looks at the relationship between epidemics and famines in south Asia and Victorian literature and culture. It suggests that much of how we think today about disasters, state and society can be traced back to the 19th-century British imperial experience.
Postcolonial Environments, Hardback (January 2010)» View all books by Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee
Postcolonial Environments examines the relationship between contemporary environmental crises and culture by offering a series of provocative readings of key Indian novels in English, making an original and important contribution to the emerging theories of 'green postcolonialism'.
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