An enduring, hostile
image of nature
The desire to make their
colonialtowns green required of the colonialists a
‘positive’ relationship with the natural environment,
though until the beginning of the twentieth century this
relationship was far from being achieved in sub-Saharan
Africa. The relationship people have with the natural
Museums were an expression of the western conviction in the onward march of the rational. Local civilisations were also the prime focus in other Asian imperial museums. This is the first book that examines the origins and development of museums in six major regions if the British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It analyses museum histories in thirteen major centres in Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and South-East Asia, setting them into the economic and social contexts of the cities and colonies in which they were located. Museums in Canada have a longer, though somewhat chequered, history than elsewhere in the British Empire. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto and the Royal British Columbia museum in Victoria were two notable, yet very different, expressions of imperial expansiveness . The book then overviews two representative museums: the South African Museum (SAM) in Cape Town and the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. The origins and development of the National Museum of Victoria (NMV) in Melbourne, South Australian Museum (SAuM) and Australian Museum (AM) are then discussed. New Zealand/Aotearoa, with its Canterbury Museum and War Memorial Museum, has discrete origins as a colony in the nineteenth century. Imperial museums in Asia were unquestionably distinctive compared with those of the territories of white settlement. A number of key themes emerge: the development of elites within colonial towns; the emergence of the full range of cultural institutions associated with this; and the modification of the key scientific ideas of the age.
Anthropology after Gluckman places the intimate circle around Max Gluckman, his Manchester School, in the vanguard of modern social anthropology. The book discloses the School’s intense, argument-rich collaborations, developing beyond an original focus in south and central Africa. Where outsiders have seen dominating leadership by Gluckman, a common stock of problems, and much about conflict, Richard Werbner highlights how insiders were drawn to explore many new frontiers in fieldwork and in-depth, reflexive ethnography, because they themselves, in class and gender, ethnicity and national origins, were remarkably inclusive. Characteristically different anthropologists, their careers met the challenges of being a public intellectual, an international celebrity, an institutional good citizen, a social and political activist, an advocate of legal justice. Their living legacies are shown, for the first time, through interlinked social biography and intellectual history to reach broadly across politics, law, ritual, semiotics, development studies, comparative urbanism, social network analysis and mathematical sociology. Innovation – in research methods and techniques, in documenting people’s changing praxis and social relations, in comparative analysis and a destabilizing strategy of re-analysis within ethnography – became the School’s hallmark. Much of this exploration confronted troubling times in Africa, colonial and postcolonial, which put the anthropologists and their anthropological knowledge at risk. The resurgence of debate about decolonization makes the accounts of fierce, End of Empire argument and recent postcolonial anthropology all the more topical. The lessons, even in activism, for social scientists, teachers as well as graduate and undergraduate students are compelling for our own troubled times.
In the twilight of the British
Empire, flying imperially was one last expression of the reach of
British overseas ambition and style. The routes flown by the
designated imperial airline connected London to major imperial
cities, and to lesser colonialtowns and even minor bush
encampments. Like the several hundred private flyers who tracked
Irish and Scottish settlers, shared ethnic
consciousness was no guarantee of uniformly essentialist narratives of
place. This was also true of the performative spaces periodically
created in colonialtowns by annual ethno-national commemorations and
associational events, such as St Patrick’s Day and the Loyal
Orange Order’s celebrations of the Twelfth of July. Despite their
reputation as celebrations of
Other case studies on large colonial projects have been less focused on indigenous agency. For the planning and building of Dutch colonialtowns overseas, Ron van Oers mostly sees Dutch traditions and schemes to apply the ‘mother concept’ of such architecture theorists as Simon Stevin at work.
Interestingly, van Oers follows a narrative similar to that of high modernization that gives precedence to the value of the Dutch urban heritage. This heritage eventually contributed to the diffusion of an ‘organizational
, Québec: A French ColonialTown in America, 1660 to 1690 (Ottawa: Minister of the Environment, 1991), p. 18; Marc Vallières, Quebec City: A Brief History (Quebec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2011), p. 49.
Johnston, Endgame , p. 130. See also B. A. Balcom, ‘Defending Unama’ki: Mi’kmaw Resistance in Cape Breton, 1745’, Nashwaak Review 22–23 (2009), 447–92; for a general account of involvement of
Garden cities and colonial planning: transnationality and urban ideas in Africa and Palestine
Proposing a model for colonialtown
planning activity under the British Empire, Robert Home portrayed the
relations between the colonial status of a territory and its geographic
location, the type of planning activity and the usual planning
mechanism. 56 For instance, in places over which direct rule was
exercised, usually the rapidly growing ports, severe housing and
Pondichéry as an imperial city in the Mughal state system
the rooftops. The majority of buildings then were in local hands, and of 1,959 ‘Malabar’ houses, 122 were built of stone, twice the number of the 65 European stone houses.
Post-war Pondichéry thus must have looked more like a Creole city than the planner's ideal of a regular colonialtown.
All of these accomplishments of engineering, logistics, and budgeting came at the cost of the exploitation of a low-paid indentured Indian workforce and could not hide the fact that the imperial ambition
the empire. 29 This colonial mentalité was most
visibly evident towards the end of the nineteenth century in an urban
context – in the towns of Australia and Canada, as well as in
those of India and Africa – where we see the emergence of forms of
policing that closely resemble those then prevalent in England.
Constables in colonialtowns walked a beat, or patrolled in twos and
threes, covering the