Richard Philips
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Generative margins
Introducing a stronger form of regulation in Bombay
in Sex, politics and empire
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This chapter examines the productivity of the margins with reference to material colonial geographies, the next turns to their metaphorical counterparts, exploring the form and significance for sexuality politics of imaginative and discursive colonial geographies. The special conditions that allowed certain parts of certain colonies to become laboratories were a function of specific dynamic situated intersections of colonial power. Certain large colonial cities such as Bombay have been located with reference to models of urbanism and urban governance that were not only described by historians as modern, but conceived as such by contemporary planners, civic leaders and colonial governors. The municipal authority also played an important part in the adoption of the Indian Contagious Diseases (CD) Act in Bombay. The Bombay Act provided for the registration and medical examination of 'all common prostitutes' living within the city, under the supervision of a health officer.

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Sex, politics and empire

A Postcolonial Geography


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