Shaping a new Eurasian moral body, 1840–67
in Learning femininity in colonial India, 1820–1932
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Racial hybridity was an important determinant for policy initiatives in colonial India. A powerful example concerned the schooling of Eurasian girls, the official fear being that their increasing numbers and possible destitution would signify to antagonistic Indian elites something other than raj claims regarding the superiority of European blood-lines. The transmission of new teaching approaches out of Europe, especially as these related to the education of poor children, had already been embedded in key military asylums in India. These asylums were institutions where departing British soldiers could educate their children who had been the issue of their earlier sexual encounters with Indian or other Eurasian women. While possible instigators of later eugenic thought in England, these institutions were responsible for laying down a new racial imperative for Eurasian girls’ schooling in India for the rest of the century. This was at the expense of even very modest funding for Indian girls.




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