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The Veda as an alternative to the Bible

to provide answers for questions regarding European identity. India enabled Europe to discover its supposedly ‘true’ past. Nowhere was this process more apparent than in the attempt of Voltaire (1694–1778) to rewrite the history of religions and compare world mythologies. In particular, it was in his understanding of the Fall of Man that Voltaire's true need to construct an Indian alibi (Latin: ‘elsewhere’) surfaced. Voltaire compared what he perceived as the Indian version of the Fall to the classical myth relating the revolt of the Titans and

in Chosen peoples
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diversity of personal meaning. Just as the pastoral cartographies created by settler capitalism offered opportunities to memorialise the settlers’ diasporic past through place naming ( chapter 6 ), so too, towns offered the possibility of complex and contested semiotics of place. Naming settler towns and villages was as important in shaping meaning and building identity as bounding and naming the colonists’ pastoral properties. In

in Imperial spaces
New Zealand’s British Empire and Commonwealth Games, 1950–90

elements highlighted the awkward and contested nature of the manner in which imperial identity was being refashioned. In particular, they revealed a persistent concern that racial animosity had not been eliminated from the competition – or the Commonwealth – and highlighted intergenerational tensions that threatened to lay bare competing ideals of Commonwealth identity

in New Zealand’s empire

state. The ‘home and the world split’ which has been identified as the base of the national(ist) identity 14 was certainly severely challenged by such a reform proposal, precipitating moral contestation and political turmoil. Interpreted as a virtual assault on indigenous rights to self-definition, objections came not only from shastric 15 individuals but also from others

in Gender and imperialism
Biblical literacy and Khoesan national renewal in the Cape Colony

He continued, ‘My nation is poor and degraded, but the Word of God is their stay and their hope … The Bible makes all nations one. The Bible brings wild man and civilised together. The Bible is our light. The [Khoekhoe] nation was almost exterminated, but the Bible has brought the nations together, and here am I before you.’  8 During the early nineteenth century, the public sphere in the Cape Colony was fraught with contesting views and rival opinions over notions of identity

in Chosen peoples
Thomas Nast and the colonisation of the American West

Reconstruction – and linked racial categories in ways his readers may not have been prepared to accept. In the indigenous/exogenous dichotomy so central to colonialism and settler societies, Nast attempted not only to erase some distinctions but also to suggest commonalities reflecting the ‘protracted contestation’ of identity in settler societies. 21 Probably Nast's most famous image related to Native Americans appeared in 1879. 22 In it

in Comic empires
Sarukhan’s al-Masri Effendi cartoons in the first half of the 1930s

the Egyptians and their character . The character is therefore best seen as a far more complex one than commonly believed, as both a critique of internal Egyptian politics and society (with inflections dependent on understandings of class and gender), and an affectionate (but contested) embodiment of the nation. In what follows, I chart the origins of the character in its home context of the satirical review Ruz al-Yusuf ; explore the broader cultural context from which al-Masri Effendi emerged and drew his relevance; and examine his contested status as either

in Comic empires
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The importance of cartoons, caricature, and satirical art in imperial contexts

Africa, the health or otherwise of democratic regimes can (in part) be measured by the cultures of political satire they sustain. 50 In states where liberal democracy has been a fundamental aspect of developing national identity and national life – for instance in the United States – the connection between cartoons, comics, and liberty has seemed straightforward. 51 Yet at the same time as he himself was exploring such connections

in Comic empires
A case study in colonial Bildungskarikatur

precipitated a one-sided war that ended with Spain surrendering its last overseas possessions to the United States, Cuba was a site of contest among three colonial powers. 6 Spain sought to hold onto its oldest, richest, and increasingly imperiled New World colony, whose wealth it relied on for collateral whenever national insolvency loomed. 7 The United States, motivated by the complex narratives of ‘Manifest Destiny’ as well as a politically ascendant, pro-slavery, Southern

in Comic empires
Linley Sambourne, Punch, and imperial allegory

contention a territorial personification. In graphic terms, the contest between the two European powers is an unequal one, since Rhodes, realistically depicted, heroically (indeed histrionically) posed and occupying the moral foreground, can only appear superior to the squat, ungainly caricature who tries maladroitly to oppose him. But the figure of Mashonaland complicates any simple triumphalist reading. She stares apprehensively towards Rhodes, her fists clenched to her mouth in a stereotypical gesture of anxious female defencelessness which seems to deprecate Rhodes

in Comic empires