This book is about the processes and practices through which two differently positioned elites, among the colonisers and the colonised, were constituted respectively as the 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali'. It argues that the emerging dynamics between colonial and nationalist politics in the 1880s and 1890s in India is best captured in the logic of colonial masculinity. The figures of the 'manly Englishman' and the 'effeminate Bengali' were thus constituted in relation to colonial Indian society as well as to some aspects of late nineteenth-century British society. These aspects of late nineteenth-century British society are the emergence of the 'New Woman', the 'remaking of the working class', the legacy of 'internal colonialism', and the anti-feminist backlash of the 1880s and 1890s. A sustained focus on the imperial constitution of colonial masculinity, therefore, serves also to refine the standard historical scholarship on nineteenth-century British masculinity. The book traces the impact of colonial masculinity in four specific controversies: the 'white mutiny' against the Ilbert Bill in 1883, the official government response to the Native Volunteer movement in 1885, the recommendations of the Public Service Commission of 1886, and the Indian opposition to the Age of Consent Bill in 1891. In this book, the author situates the analysis very specifically in the context of an imperial social formation. In doing so, the author examines colonial masculinity not only in the context of social forces within India, but also as framed by and framing political, economic, and ideological shifts in Britain.
reform in India. Indeed, the Public Service
Commission did more than simply ignore native claims to higher
employment in the public administration in India. Rather, by
reorganising the civil service along the lines of a specifically
sectarian definition of colonial masculinity, which simultaneously
provided a provincial and religious context for native masculinity and an
imperial context for ‘English
unprecedented in the history of elite Indian politics. 5 Just as the
Anglo-Indian agitation against the Ilbert Bill is credited with
consolidating a new mood of aggressivenes in the Anglo-Indian population
in India, so also the Indian agitation against the Consent Bill is seen
as similarly inaugurating a new phase in the history of elite
nationalism in India.
The politics of colonial masculinity, however
This book is about the processes and
practices through which two differently positioned elites, among the
colonisers and the colonised, were constituted respectively as the
‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate Bengali’
in nineteenth-century India. In Colonial Masculinity: The
‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate
Bengali’ in the late nineteenth century , I
shape, important shifts in
racial and gender ideologies that accompanied the political and economic
transformations of the imperial social formation in the late nineteenth century.
The politics of colonial masculinity in the Ilbert Bill controversy not
only reflected the intersection of racial and gender ideologies, but
also enabled those hierarchies to be reconfigured in new ways.
. This practice would help to
ameliorate anxieties about colonial masculinity and its failures.
Publishing more than twenty years apart about newcomers
to the colony of Victoria, contemporary writers N. W. Pollard and W. J.
Woods both suggested what other commentators had also come to suspect
about the dangers inherent in migrant populations: that the weak, ill,
dissolute, or lazy would find their way into
The study of the historical
formation of colonial masculinity touches upon two broader questions
that concern political criticism in our own times: one, how to go beyond
the reductive choices offered in political critiques concerned only with
one or another isolated aspect of social relations; and, two, how to
recast the historiographical unit of both metropolitan and colonial
, constituted a challenge to both the
racial and class dimensions of the strategies of colonial rule. Indeed,
in so far as the politics of colonial masculinity rearticulated
simultaneously the racial and class dimensions of martial traditions, it
ultimately recuperated the challenge to colonial rule represented by the
native volunteer movement.
The history of an intersecting racial and class dimension
This book explores the influence of imperialism in the landscapes of modern European cities including London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Marseilles, Glasgow and Seville. The first part considers some ways in which the design of urban landscapes articulated competing visions of the imperial city, including large-scale planning and architectural schemes, urban design and public monuments. The final shape of the Queen Victoria Memorial in London suggests an oddly tenuous relationship between the creation of imperial space and the representation of the empire itself. The notions of empire and romanità are expressed through the location, styling and form of the Vittoriano in Rome. The second part of the book considers the role of various forms of visual display, including spectacular pageants, imperial exhibitions and suburban gardens, in the cultural life of metropolitan imperialism. The material transformation of Paris with rhetorical devices reveals a deep-seated ambiguity about just how 'imperial' Paris wanted to appear. Sydenham Crystal Palace housed the Ethnological and Natural History Department, and its displays brought together animals, plants and human figures from various areas of the globe. The largest part of imperial Vienna's tourist traffic came from within the Austrian lands of the empire. The last part of the book is primarily concerned with the associations between imperial identities and the history of urban space in a variety of European cities. The book considers the changing cultural and political identities in the imperial city, looking particularly at nationalism, masculinity and anti-imperialism.
Popular culture is invariably a vehicle for the dominant ideas of its age. Never was this truer than in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when it reflected the nationalist and imperialist ideologies current throughout Europe. It both reflects popular attitudes, ideas and preconceptions and it generates support for selected views and opinions. This book examines the various media through which nationalist ideas were conveyed in late-Victorian and Edwardian times: in the theatre, "ethnic" shows, juvenile literature, education and the iconography of popular art. It seeks to examine in detail the articulation and diffusion of imperialism in the field of juvenile literature by stressing its pervasiveness across boundaries of class, nation and gender. It analyses the production, distribution and marketing of imperially-charged juvenile fiction, stressing the significance of the Victorians' discovery of adolescence, technological advance and educational reforms as the context of the great expansion of such literature. An overview of the phenomenon of Robinson Crusoe follows, tracing the process of its transformation into a classic text of imperialism and imperial masculinity for boys. The imperial commitment took to the air in the form of the heroic airmen of inter-war fiction. The book highlights that athleticism, imperialism and militarism become enmeshed at the public schools. It also explores the promotion of imperialism and imperialist role models in fiction for girls, particularly Girl Guide stories.