The book shows how people have come to approach the writing of imperial histories in the early twenty-first century. It explores the social and political contexts that informed the genesis and development of the Studies in Imperialism series, and the conceptual links it has sought to forge between empire and metropolitan culture. The book provides an insightful account of John MacKenzie's 'Orientalism': the problems of 'power' and 'agency'. The 'MacKenziean moment' needs to be read historically, as a product of the 'delayed arrival of decolonising sensibilities', where contemporary popular phenomena and new types of scholarship integrated Britain and its empire. Sexuality made early appearances in the Series through the publication of 'Empire and Sexuality'. MacKenzie's 'Empire of Nature', 'Imperialism and the Natural World', and 'Museums and Empire' convey the impact of his scholarship in the themes of exploration, environment and empire. The historical geographies of British colonialism have enjoyed a prominent place in the Series, and the book explores the ways in which different 'spatial imaginations' have been made possible. Discussions on colonial policing during the depression years, and on immigrant welfare during and after decolonisation, take their cue from MacKenzie's European Empires and the People. The later nineteenth century witnessed the interaction of many diasporas, which in turn produced new modes of communication. By dealing with the idea of the 'Third British Empire' and the role of the Indian press during and after the British Raj, the book repositions British imperial histories within a broader set of global transformations.
understand empireandsexuality in historical perspective. Historians of sexuality and empire have begun to see, if
not develop, the political and intellectual advantages of thinking geographically, and the
disadvantages of not doing so, or not doing so enough. Cultural historian Frank Mort makes
this explicit in a critical review of his own work on the history of sexuality and its
embroilments with power – in a book entitled Dangerous Sexualities – which
‘took social geographies . . . entirely for granted
In 1990, among the first dozen
volumes of the Studies in Imperialism series, appeared Ronald
Hyam’s EmpireandSexuality, a novel and even provocative
theme in a field traditionally dominated by theories and practices of
colonial governance, the economic balance-sheet of empire and the
collaboration and resistance of colonised peoples. 1 Sex had hardly been a topic in
Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.
their Critics, 1793–1905
(London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980).
Hyam, The EmpireandSexuality ; for a
critique of his approach see M. Berger, ‘Imperialism and
sexual exploitation: a response to Ronald Hyam’s “Empire
and sexual opportunity”’, Journal of Imperial and
’s commentary on the South African novelist, Sarah
Gertrude Millin, who herself grew up poor on the diamond fields of
Kimberley: J. M. Coetzee, ‘Blood, Flaw, Taint, Degeneration:
The Case of Sarah Gertrude Millin’, English Studies in Africa , 23: 1
( 1980 ).
Ronald Hyam, EmpireandSexuality (Manchester
Responses in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century India (Lanham,
MA: Lexington Books, 2012), p. 2.
R. Hyam, EmpireandSexuality …,
p. 123. This ratio was a general average in the late nineteenth
century where the number of British soldiers is divided by the
number of known regiment-certified prostitutes
Elbourne, Blood ground , pp. 227–32 for more details
on the South African context.
See Ronald Hyam, EmpireandSexuality: the British experience
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990 ), p. 119; Adele Perry,
‘“Fair Ones of a Purer Caste”: White Women and Colonialism in
Nineteenth-Century British Columbia’, Feminist Studies 23:3 ( 1997 ), 501–24; and below, pp. 37–8.
George Thom to London, 27 October 1813, SAIL 5/2/E.
Clothing and masculine identities in the imperial city, 1860–1914
–1930 (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1991)
C. Turner, ‘The City at high noon’, in G. Simms (ed.),
Living London, II (London, Cassell, 1903), p. 126.
Ibid., pp. 122–5.
R. Hyam, EmpireandSexuality: The British Experience
(Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1991), pp. 71–2.
D. Schwann, The Book of a Bachelor (London, Heinemann, 1910),
copies by subscription, and he dedicated a volume of his own
translation to Payne’s.
R. Hyam, EmpireandSexuality: The British Experience
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990), p. 226.
Burton, Arabian Nights , vol. 10, p. 207.
Burton, Arabian Nights , vol. 10, pp. 206–207.
Although, as Burton explains in a footnote: ‘As this feminine
perversion is only glanced at in the Nights I need