Spreading political knowledge
English newspapers, correspondents, travellers
in Sex, politics and empire
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English purity campaigners saw their own country as a net exporter of the ideas, laws and movements that drove sexuality politics around the world. Parallels and coincidences in global sexuality politics, past and present, have sometimes been attributed to the diffusion of ideas and identities. This chapter examines the processes by which purity movements may have spread from England to other parts of the British Empire. English purity campaigners recognised distinctions within both Indian and English society, which further complicated the hierarchical geographies of sexuality politics. Invoking the imperial power of which she was often critical, Ellice Hopkins, argued that English purity movements would inevitably 'influence in the world at large. Perhaps the most tangible way in which purity campaigns were extended was through travel. Before he ventured into travel and travel-writing proper, Alfred Stace Dyer used quasi-travel narratives to strengthen the overseas work of English purity campaigns.

Sex, politics and empire

A Postcolonial Geography




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