Experiencing and imagining the military in the long nineteenth century

This collection explores the role of martial masculinities in shaping nineteenth-century British culture and society in a period framed by two of the greatest wars the world had ever known and punctuated by many smaller conflicts. Bringing together contributions from a diverse range of leading scholars, it offers fresh, interdisciplinary perspectives on an emerging field of study. Chapters in this volume draw on historical, literary, visual and musical sources to demonstrate the centrality of the military and its masculine dimensions in the shaping of Victorian and Edwardian personal and national identities. Focusing on both the experience of military service and its imaginative forms, it examines such topics as bodies and habits, families and domesticity, heroism and chivalry, religion and militarism, and youth and fantasy. The collection is divided into two sections: ‘experiencing’ and ‘imagining’ military masculinities. This division represents the two principal areas of investigation for scholars working in this field. The section on experience considers the realities of military life in this period, and asks to what extent they produced a particular kind of gendered identity. The second section moves on to explore the wider impact of martial masculinities on culture and society, asking whether nineteenth-century Britain can be regarded as a warrior nation. These two sections ultimately demonstrate that the reception, representation and replication of masculine values in Britain during this period was far more complex than might be assumed.

The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century

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.

The Public Service Commission, 1886–87

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

in Colonial masculinity
War resistance in apartheid South Africa

This book explores the gendered dynamics of apartheid-era South Africa's militarisation. It analyses the defiance of compulsory military service by individual white men, and the anti-apartheid activism of white men and women in the End Conscription Campaign (ECC), the most significant white anti-apartheid movement of South Africa. Militarized, white masculinity was a dominant model of masculinity that white men were encouraged to perform and white women were encouraged to admire. One of the most consistent features of pre-1994 South African society was progressive militarisation, in terms of both military preparedness and activity and the social conditions necessary for war making. The book then analyses the 1984 Citizenship Act as evidence that conscription was a transformative political act for the men who undertook it. The wider peace movement is also analysed as a transgressive sub-cultural space where radical political subjectivities could be formulated. The ECC's use of art, music and satire is assessed as a means to critique the militarisation of South African society. The role of women in the ECC, the feminist activism and the ways in which constructs of white femininity were addressed are also analysed. The book also explores the interconnections between militarisation, sexuality, race, homophobia and political authoritarianism. Finally, it conceptualises the state as premising its response to objectors on a need to assert and reinforce the gendered binaries of militarisation.

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The Age of Consent controversy, 1891

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

in Colonial masculinity
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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

in Colonial masculinity
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Urban versus rural in City Slickers and Hunter’s Blood

This chapter builds on my previous interests in the cinematic countryside and in constructions of urban and rural masculinities (Bell, 1997 ; 2000 ). It seeks to make a modest contribution to the growing body of work on gender and the rural, and more specifically on the relationships between rurality and masculinity (for an overview, see Little, 2002 ). My aim (to borrow from Rachel

in Cinematic countrysides
Tennyson and the enlistment into military masculinity

• 8 • ‘And the individual withers’: Tennyson and the enlistment into military masculinity Lorenzo Servitje Tennyson, peering into the future, was attempting to see great forests – the big picture – without singling out individual trees. He had more luck than most of us today, who seem to find individual trees obscuring our vision. —William Turner When Lieutenant General William Turner, commander of the United States’ large-scale military airlift operations during the Second World War, suggests that Alfred Lord Tennyson aimed to see the larger context rather

in Martial masculinities
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A singing sailor on the Georgian stage

and popularity, Incledon was an especially problematic figure. His complex masculinity was the crux of this problem. Although he presented himself as a brave and respectable British Tar to enhance his performance of manliness in the civilian world, responses to the tenor reveal that this was not always straightforward. Many imagined Incledon in a manner that aligned with an alternative naval archetype – the rough and ready sailor with a penchant for women and grog. Incledon certainly lived up to this reputation too, as his rakish behaviour was widely reported in the

in Martial masculinities
Wilde’s Art

Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and Dorian Gray. As already suggested, one principal issue at the time which relates to masculinity and desire concerns visibility and invisibility, it is one which is addressed through Wilde’s particular construction of Camp. Camp Thomas A. King has persuasively argued, in historicist terms, that the performative aspects of Camp

in Victorian demons