ANN: New and Forthcoming Publications

Juan Meneses's picture

Dear H-Empire members,

Please continue to send me new and forthcoming publications so that I can include them in this recurrent series of posts.

This is a list of new and forthcoming publications of interest to members:

 

Michael Philipp Brunner, Education and Modernity in Colonial Punjab: Khalsa College, the Sikh Tradition and the Webs of Knowledge, 1880-1947 (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

This book explores the localisation of modernity in late colonial India. As a case study, it focuses on the hitherto untold colonial history of Khalsa College, Amritsar, a pioneering and highly influential educational institution founded in the British Indian province of Punjab in 1892 by the religious minority community of the Sikhs. Addressing topics such as politics, religion, rural development, militarism or physical education, the study shows how Sikh educationalists and activists made use of and ‘localised’ communal, imperial, national and transnational discourses and knowledge. Their modernist visions and schemes transcended both imperialist and mainstream nationalist frameworks and networks. In its quest to educate the modern Sikh – scientific, practical, disciplined and physically fit – the college navigated between very local and global claims, opportunities and contingencies, mirroring modernity’s ambivalent simultaneity of universalism and particularism.

 

Madhumita Lahiri, Imperfect Solidarities: Tagore, Gandhi, Du Bois, and the Global Anglophone (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2020) (Also available open access)

A century ago, activists confronting racism and colonialism—in India, South Africa, and Black America—used print media to connect with one another. Then, as now, the most effective medium for their undertakings was the English language. Imperfect Solidarities: Tagore, Gandhi, Du Bois, and the Global Anglophone tells the story of this interconnected Anglophone world. Through Rabindranath Tagore’s writings on China, Mahatma Gandhi’s recollections of South Africa, and W. E. B. Du Bois’s invocations of India, Madhumita Lahiri theorizes print internationalism. This methodology requires new terms within the worldwide hegemony of the English language (“the global Anglophone”) in order to encourage alternate geographies (such as the Global South) and new collectivities (such as people of color). The women of print internationalism feature prominently in this account. Sonja Schlesin, born in Moscow, worked with Indians in South Africa. Sister Nivedita, an Irish woman in India, collaborated with a Japanese historian. Jessie Redmon Fauset, an African American, brought the world home to young readers through her work as an author and editor. Reading across races and regions, genres and genders, Imperfect Solidarities demonstrates the utility of the neologism for postcolonial literary studies.

 

Jack Daniel Webb, Haiti in the British Imagination: Imperial Worlds, 1847–1915 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020)

In 1804, Haiti declared its independence from France to become the world’s first ‘black’ nation state. Throughout the nineteenth century, Haiti maintained its independence, consolidating and expanding its national and, at times, imperial projects. In doing so, Haiti joined a host of other nation states and empires that were emerging and expanding across the Atlantic World. The largest and, in many ways, most powerful of these empires was that of Britain. Haiti in the British Imagination is the first book to focus on the diplomatic relations and cultural interactions between Haiti and Britain in the second half of the nineteenth century. As well as a story of British imperial aggression and Haitian ‘resistance’, it is also one of a more complicated set of relations: of rivalry, cultural exchange and intellectual dialogue. At particular moments in the Victorian period, ideas about Haiti had wide-reaching relevancies for British anxieties over the quality of British imperial administration, over what should be the relations between ‘the British’ and people of African descent, and defining the limits of black sovereignty. Haitians were key in formulating, disseminating and correcting ideas about Haiti and about British imperialism. Through acts of dialogue, Britons and Haitians impacted on the worldviews of one another, and with that changed the political and cultural landscapes of the Atlantic World.

 

Owen White, The Blood of the Colony: Wine and the Rise and Fall of French Algeria (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2021)

“We owe to wine a blessing far more precious than gold: the peopling of Algeria with Frenchmen,” stated agriculturist Pierre Berthault in the early 1930s. In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Europeans had displaced Algerians from the colony’s best agricultural land and planted grape vines. Soon enough, wine was the primary export of a region whose mostly Muslim inhabitants didn’t drink alcohol.Settlers made fortunes while drawing large numbers of Algerians into salaried work for the first time. But the success of Algerian wine resulted in friction with French producers, challenging the traditional view that imperial possessions should complement, not compete with, the metropole. By the middle of the twentieth century, amid the fight for independence, Algerians had come to see the rows of vines as an especially hated symbol of French domination. After the war, Algerians had to decide how far they would go to undo the transformations the colonists had wrought—including the world’s fourth-biggest wine industry. Owen White examines Algeria’s experiment with nationalized wine production in worker-run vineyards, the pressures that resulted in the failure of that experiment, and the eventual uprooting of most of the country’s vines.With a special focus on individual experiences of empire, from the wealthiest Europeans to the poorest laborers in the fields, The Blood of the Colony shows the central role of wine in the economic life of French Algeria and in its settler culture. White makes clear that the industry left a long-term mark on the development of the nation.
 

 

Nira Wickramasinghe, Slave in a Palanquin. Colonial Servitude and Resistance in Sri Lanka (New York: Columbia University Press,  2020)

For hundreds of years, the island of Sri Lanka was a crucial stopover for people and goods in the Indian Ocean. For the Dutch East India Company, it was also a crossroads in the Indian Ocean slave trade. Slavery was present in multiple forms in Sri Lanka—then Ceylon—when the British conquered the island in the late eighteenth century and began to gradually abolish slavery. Yet the continued presence of enslaved people in Sri Lanka in the nineteenth century has practically vanished from collective memory in both the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Nira Wickramasinghe uncovers the traces of slavery in the history and memory of the Indian Ocean world, exploring moments of revolt in the lives of enslaved people in the wake of abolition. She tells the stories of Wayreven, the slave who traveled in the palanquin of his master; Selestina, accused of killing her child; Rawothan, who sought permission for his son to be circumcised; and others, enslaved or emancipated, who challenged their status. Drawing on legal cases, petitions, and other colonial records to recover individual voices and quotidian moments, Wickramasinghe offers a meditation on the archive of slavery. She examines how color-based racial thinking gave way to more nuanced debates about identity, complicating conceptions of blackness and racialization. A deeply interdisciplinary book with a focus on recovering subaltern resistance, Slave in a Palanquin offers a vital new portrait of the local and transnational worlds of the colonial-era Asian slave trade in the Indian Ocean.

 

Members may also be interested in the latest issue of African Economic History as well as the latest issue of YILLIK: Annual of Istanbul Studies.

 

NOTE: If you have recently published or have a forthcoming monograph, edited collection, article, book chapter, etc. that deals with imperialism, and you want me to include it on this list, please send me an email at juan.meneses@uncc.edu with basic information: author’s name, title, journal or publisher, year of publication, and a link to access it. In case your publication is a book, you are welcome to include a short abstract. You can also send me information about outstanding recent work that you have read and consider to be of interest to other members of the network. Following the same procedure, please email me entries so I can add them to the list. Posts will feature new lists on a first-come-first-serve basis and will appear with the degree of frequency that the number of items I receive demands.

Categories: Announcement