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Children, missions, empire and emotions
Hugh Morrison

The Introduction outlines a rationale for writing a history of Protestant missionary children. It traverses key trends in the scholarship, provides a broad conceptual framework and fleshes out lines of argument for each chapter. It argues that historical missionary children’s lives were complex and variegated. A focus on just one dominant analytical category (such as family separation) or on solely negative readings of their lives results in reductionist or emasculated historical understanding. Therefore, it engages with these complexities by expanding the historical and conceptual parameters. It locates the topic within the broader history of the Protestant missionary movement. As such, it indicates ways in which missionary children have been absent from this historiography while, at the same time, historians in other sub-fields have added value to what we know. Beyond this, the chapter provides an introduction to four conceptual foci that variously inform analysis throughout this book: the relationship between imperial and religious histories; histories of childhood; histories of emotion; and space/sites. The chapter concludes with an outline of the methodologies employed, their rationale and a broad map of the chapters that follow.

in Protestant missionary children’s lives, c.1870–1950
Abstract only
Hugh Morrison

This chapter examines the first overlapping narrative lens – that of missionary parents. It argues that parental narratives, focused primarily on the family and domestic issues, should be the starting point. The family provided the primary parameters for children’s lives and was the reference point by which children often interpreted their own experiences and memories. It focuses on the narratives around missionary children that were constructed primarily by parents and in family settings, especially as they emerged through the early decades of the twentieth century. After outlining the changing demographic shape of missionary families, the chapter considers the religious underpinnings of parents’ narratives. It then examines these narratives further, arguing that while domestic details were to the fore, a deeper set of anxieties lay at their core: the maintenance of family life, keeping healthy and attaining a good education for their children. These were emotionally framed and were further bolstered by a religious rationale. As a result, missionary children became caught up in a perpetual set of negotiations over the best places to live, how to stay healthy, and especially where to be educated. Therefore, in parents’ narratives about their children, dislocation and separation emerge as important themes because they caused parents much anxiety. As such missionary parenting, both its realities and its representations, can be conceptualised as a particular form of emotional labour.

in Protestant missionary children’s lives, c.1870–1950
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Missionary children inhabiting imperial and colonial spaces
Hugh Morrison

This final chapter returns to the spaces inhabited by children, namely those constructed through imperial and colonial processes. It returns more explicitly to thinking of such spaces as complex ‘sites’ experienced by children and which were simultaneously physically, socio-spatially and emotionally constructed. Drawing again primarily on children’s autobiographical material, it argues that children physically, mentally and emotionally navigated their way within and between a range of imperial sites, wittingly or unwittingly mediating empire or militating against it at various points. Three areas of emphasis are considered by way of indicative illustration. One is children’s relationships with Indigenous mission personnel, especially those with child-minding roles like the ayah in India or amah in China. A second is mobility as a way of living in empire, creating porous boundaries between places and complicating such notions as ‘home’ and ‘abroad’. The third is missionary architecture, using one child’s response in China to missionary parents’ appropriation of traditional religious or cultural spaces as a case study. Overall, this chapter considers such spaces as ‘feeling spaces’ and as further examples of the ‘emotional frontiers’ encountered and navigated by missionary children.

in Protestant missionary children’s lives, c.1870–1950
Empire, religion and emotion
Author:

Missionary children were an important but relatively hidden part of the modern Protestant missionary movement. As ‘empire citizens’ their lives were shaped by both political and religious contexts or imperatives. This book brings to light the lives, experiences and feelings of a range of children born into British world missionary families. It develops new ground in two ways. First, it takes a comparative approach that includes children mainly from Britain (especially Scotland) and settler societies like New Zealand as well as the the United States of America. Second, it focuses on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As such it offers a new contextual and relational model by which to understand their historical lives. It argues that three different perspectives need to be held in tension. These include the stories told by parents, institutions and the children. To do so it uses a combination of archival, published and oral history sources. Furthermore, it explores the ways in which missionary children were represented through popular literature and negotiated their way within spaces defined by imperialism and colonialism. It draws on scholarship from childhood and emotions history as a way of differentiating their lives further. From this comparative study, missionary children’s historical lives emerge as a complex mix of ordinary and complicated. Their lives were kaleidoscopic rather than monochrome. Children were both the authors of their own lives and the products of their unique contexts.

Missionary children inhabiting literary spaces
Hugh Morrison

Chapter 1 focuses on missionary children as inhabitants of the vibrant and extensive religious and secular literary spaces ubiquitous throughout the period under study. Public and denominational newspapers or periodicals, books and novels are the main sources examined. Both adult and child readers are considered. It argues that through this literature the wider reading public most often encountered missionary children. This was a constitutively important encounter. Conceptually the chapter suggests that literature, as a site, formed a mixture of emotional community, culture contact zone and imperial textual commons. Here missionary children were encountered and ‘known’. These literary spaces served simultaneously as points of imperial contact and commonality, doubly drawing together juvenile readers into the orbit of a shared emotional community with their missionary peers and inscribing missionary children as both an exotic focus and a cause for collective concern. At the same time, missionary children were drawn into fellow commonality with their peers in countries of origin, sometimes speaking for themselves while often filling the role of ‘other’. Through such representations, certain public perceptions of missionary children were formed, cemented and sustained over many decades that were often pejorative or negatively framed and from which missionary children emerged as objects of pity. This is illustrated through a case study of a disaster in northeast India in 1899. In the longer term, this literature helped to feed or sustain identifiable adult-centric narratives, which are the focus of the following chapters.

in Protestant missionary children’s lives, c.1870–1950
The causes and legacies of partition
Editors: and

This book is the first study of political and legal thinking about the partitions of India and Palestine in 1947. It explains how these two formative moments collectively contributed to the disintegration of the European colonial empires and unleashed political forces whose legacies continue to shape the modern politics of the Middle East and South Asia. The chapters in the volume, authored by leading scholars of partition, draw attention to the pathways of peoples, geographic spaces, colonial policies, laws and institutions that connect them from the vantage point of those most engaged in the process: political actors, party activists, jurists, diplomats, writers and international representatives from the Middle East, South Asia and beyond. Additionally, the volume investigates some of the underlying causes of partition in both places, such as the hardening of religious fault lines, majoritarian politics and the failure to construct viable forms of government in deeply divided societies. Finally, this book analyses why, even seventy-five years after partition, the two regions have not been able to address some of the pertinent historical, political and social debates of the colonial years. It moves the debate about partition away from the imperial centre, by focusing on ground level arguments about the future of postcolonial India and Palestine and the still unfolding repercussions of those debates.

Arie M. Dubnov

The chapter has several aims. First, it argues for an entangled history of partitioned political spaces, and suggests that we should trace back the idea of partition to the interwar years and locate it in a British imperial context. It is argued that the idea of partition emerged as a colonial management tool for maintaining and controlling religious and ethnonational differences within the Empire, but adapted to the post-1914 language of self-determination. Second, the chapter places the Palestine and India partitions of 1947–48 side by side and proposes that, from this vantage point, the 1947–49 war in Palestine would be better understood as a war of partition. Finally, the chapter concludes that neither in India/Pakistan nor in Israel/Palestine did partition prove to be a practical solution as its architects announced it to be.

in The breakup of India and Palestine
Amrita Shodhan

How does a partition of land between ‘nations’ that inhabit a single colonial territory seem like a sensible solution in 1947/48 British India and mandate Palestine? This chapter suggests that the sociology of colonial knowledge provides some answers. The colonial construction of unitary, fundamentally defined, but politically governed communities occurred over different time spans but in similar ways in both regions. Within this broad formulation, this chapter examines the history of legal governance, and the representational practices that codify and actualise this colonial sociology. British adjudication and laws replaced local authorities and systems of governance in socioreligious groups. This replacement was a complex and negotiated process between the British authorities and the local elite. It occurred over a longer period in India than Palestine, but followed similar processes in Palestine emanating from the British experience of governing in India. In addition, British colonial authorities in both regions looked at the development of political ‘representation’ of important social groups in their administration, by organising various power-sharing arrangements. The chapter suggests that in the process of legal administration and political representation, multiple ‘fuzzy’ religious groups of the early colonial period were forged into highly nationalised, singular religious communities at the time of devolution and partition. Seeing these processes comparatively elucidates British colonial legalities and highlights the common nature of these processes and links across colonial territories.

in The breakup of India and Palestine
Mohamed-Ali Adraoui

This chapter looks at how the partition of Palestine in November 1947 was understood by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. In what ways did Islamist forces in the Arab world, foremost among them the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, attempt to respond to what was perceived as a major infringement of the religious rights of all Muslims in the world to a sacred land? What were the repercussions for Islamist movements in the decades following partition with regard to the calls of the Brotherhood to resist the division of Palestine? Using little-exploited diplomatic archives (American ones in particular), this chapter demonstrates the central role of Islamist movements in triggering a broad Arab reaction to the division of Palestine. It also highlights the centrality of Palestine in the Islamist imagination and how it influences the sociology, composition and evolution of the forces of political and radical Islam.

in The breakup of India and Palestine
Nehru’s preference for a partitioned India but a federal Palestine
P. R. Kumaraswamy

While the acceptance of a communal partition in the Indian subcontinent was a collective majority decision of the Indian National Congress Party, Jawaharlal Nehru (prime minister of the interim government since September 1946 and of free India from 15 August 1947) was the architect of the federal plan for Palestine. His approach towards colonial situations and partition as a possible solution to communal problems in India and Palestine highlighted his dichotomy between pragmatism necessitated by the politico-territorial immediacy of the Indian condition, and moral posturing facilitated by geographical distance. Having achieved independence through communal partition, he was urging the Jews and Arabs of Palestine to coexist under one political authority through accommodation and cooperation. The federal plan was not only a sign of Indian naivety regarding international diplomacy, but also a reflection of its duality; political pragmatism was confined to the subcontinent while moral eloquence was visible and useful elsewhere. The duality towards the two partitions was compounded by the uncritical adulation of the federal plan by various Indian scholars and writers.

in The breakup of India and Palestine