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Memsahibs, ayahs and wet-nurses
Indrani Sen

period was confined to the ayah or female domestic servant who worked in their home – and also, occasionally, the wet-nurse who was employed for European infants. Throughout the colonial period, white women maintained diaries, wrote letters home, recorded their memoirs, wrote romantic novels and occasionally published housekeeping manuals in which they wrote copiously about their

in Gendered transactions
The white woman in colonial India, c. 1820–1930
Author: Indrani Sen

This book explores colonial gendered interactions, with a special focus on the white woman in colonial India. It examines missionary and memsahibs' colonial writings, probing their construction of Indian women of different classes and regions, such as zenana women, peasants, ayahs and wet-nurses. The three groups of white women focused upon are memsahibs, missionaries and, to a certain extent, ordinary soldiers' wives. Among white women in colonial India, it was the female missionaries who undoubtedly participated most closely in the colonial 'civilising mission'. The book addresses through a scrutiny of the literary works written by 'New Indian Women', such as Flora Annie Steel. Cross-racial gendered interactions were inflected by regional diversities, and the complexity of the category of the 'native woman'. The colonial household was a site of tension, and 'the anxieties of colonial rule manifest themselves most clearly in the home'. The dynamics of the memsahib-ayah relationship were rooted in race/class hierarchies, domestic power structures and predicated on the superiority of the colonising memsahib. The book also examines colonial medical texts, scrutinising how they wielded authoritative power over vulnerable young European women through the power/knowledge of their medical directives. Colonial discourse sought to project the white woman's vulnerability to specific mental health problems, as well as the problem of addiction of 'barrack wives'. Giving voice to the Indian woman, the book scrutinises the fiction of the first generation of western-educated Indian women who wrote in English, exploring their construction of white women and their negotiations with colonial modernities.

What he knew of it – and what he made of it
Harish Trivedi

the separate Muslim nation-state of Pakistan was created in 1947, its national language was declared to be Urdu, though only 7 per cent of the population knew the language and speakers of Bengali, Panjabi and Sindhi were in an overwhelming majority in the various far-flung areas constituting the new nation. The imposition of Urdu on such peoples was one of the more emotive factors behind the secession of Bengali-speaking East Pakistan in 1971 to form the independent nation of Bangladesh. The ayah-effect: knowing and forgetting This vexed linguistic history impinged

in In Time’s eye
Abstract only
Indrani Sen

also appeared to have been riddled with ambivalences – sometimes even gesturing at an internalisation of caste hierarchies (suggested by the memsahibs’ reluctance to employ low-caste ayahs, or in missionaries valorising and treasuring their Brahmin converts). Further indicating the internalisation of the caste system were certain self-appellations adopted by British colonials

in Gendered transactions
Abstract only
Diane Robinson-Dunn

Immigration, ethnicity, and identity: lascars and ayahs The first significant influx of Muslims to England resulted from trade associated with the Empire and began during the late eighteenth century. Lascars, a general term for African and Asian seamen, worked on East India Company ships. 2 So many were employed that the Government actually required the company to hire at

in The harem, slavery and British imperial culture
Ali Riaz

arguments for Indian independence. These were the elites of South Asia, whose visits were voluntary and with definite objectives. But there were others who did not come entirely of their own free will and certainly not under their own means. Ayahs (nannies) employed by the officials of the East India Company and the British colonial administration in India were often brought to England. Many later found themselves in a destitute condition having been abandoned.2 According to one account, ‘There is evidence in art and literature of the arrival of Bengali children as

in Islam and identity politics among British-Bangladeshis
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family
Author: Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

Abstract only
Indrani Sen

regional diversities. I also sought to present how these enormous diversities inflected their inter-racial encounters and perceptions of nautch girls (dancing girls), ayahs (female domestic servants), wet-nurses, middle-class zenana women (women living in seclusion), princely women and western-educated women graduates (college educated). Themes and concerns of this book: white

in Gendered transactions
Abstract only
Michael D. Leigh

Bestall was distracted by the sweltering heat and the imminent departure of Mrs Bestall for England. But there was more trouble to come. 79 Mrs Bradford was about to return to England on furlough in 1909. She wanted to take her ayah with her on the boat. The WMMS rulebook did not cover such exotic requests and a fierce debate took place about the cost of an ayah’s fare and the relative merits of Bibby versus Henderson Lines. Vickery joined the fray. ‘We have two babies,’ he wrote to Hartley in 1910, and ‘we would like to

in Conflict, politics and proselytism
The structures of migration in Tales from Firozsha Baag
Peter Morey

tale is told in the first person by the Goanese ayah of a professional Parsi couple who live upstairs in B Block. But as a devout Catholic, as well as a servant, Jacqueline (whose name is corrupted to Jaakaylee by Parsi mispronunciation) is, like Francis, something of an outsider despite her forty-nine years of Morey_Mistry_02_Chap 2 38 9/6/04, 4:07 pm Tales from Firozsha Baag 39 service. She observes how ayahs live close to the floor, grinding masala and chopping vegetables. Significantly, after attending midnight mass, Jaakaylee sleeps outside the flat, by

in Rohinton Mistry