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A Postcolonial Geography

The operation of the British model of imperialism was never consistent, seldom coherent, and far from comprehensive. Purity campaigns, controversies about the age of consent, the regulation of prostitution and passage and repeal of contagious diseases laws, as well as a new legislative awareness of homosexuality, were all part of the sexual currency of the late Victorian age. Colonial governments, institutions and companies recognised that in many ways the effective operation of the Empire depended upon sexual arrangements. They devised elaborate systems of sexual governance, but also devoted disproportionate energy to marking and policing the sexual margins. This book not only investigates controversies surrounding prostitution, homosexuality and the age of consent in the British Empire, but also revolutionises people's notions about the importance of sex as a nexus of imperial power relations. The derivative hypothesis, which reads colonial sexuality politics as something England did or gave to its colonies, is illustrated and made explicit by the Indian Spectator, which seemed simply to accept that India should follow English precedent. In 1885, the South Australian parliament passed legislation, similar to England's Criminal Law Amendment Act, which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16 and introduced a series of restrictions and regulations on sexual conduct. Richard Francis Burton's case against the moral universalism and sex between men are discussed. 'Cognitively mapping' sexuality politics, the book has traced connections between people, places and politics, exploring both their dangers and opportunities, which revolve in each case around embroilments in global power.

Marcela Iacub
Vinay Swamy

approached the structure of indecent assault. Thus, it became the ultimate tool for repression of all “bad sex” qualified as such just by being visible. Consent or lack of consent, which was characteristic of other moral offenses, had been set aside in favour of the purely spatial logic of Article 330. When the visible world as a whole was considered potentially public, any consensual (or nonconsensual) sexual conduct could become the subject of a conviction for contempt of public decency. But, just as unexpectedly, the extension of Article 330 to private spaces had

in Through the keyhole
Le Bone Florence of Rome and bourgeois self-making
Felicity Riddy

‘honourable’ are part of a public discourse of female respectability in the fifteenth century. The family is represented as united around this issue: the sexual conduct and good name of its female members. And in this MUP_McDonald_10_Chap9 197 11/18/03, 17:06 198 Felicity Riddy strongly ideological representation, it is the daughter who is made to speak these words: her aspirations are represented as not only hers but also her family’s and those of her social group. The hope is, perhaps, that she will grow up to be like the ‘honesta mulier’ (‘honourable woman’), Mary

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
Abstract only
Australian activists on the age of consent and prostitution
Richard Philips

legislation, similar to England’s Criminal Law Amendment Act, which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16 and introduced a series of other restrictions and regulations on sexual conduct. The events leading up to the enactment of this legislation had begun five years earlier. A paper entitled ‘Our duty as to public morals’ was read at the Annual Meeting of the Congregational Union (April 22, 1880), which appointed a committee to examine the state of public morality in the colony. The investigation did not get off the ground, but

in Sex, politics and empire
A historical and contemporary analysis
Eilís Ward

through producing ‘decent’ women confined to the marital home. 50 Those who breached the code of sexual conduct, or who refused governmentality, became deviants. Some were confined in Magdalen Laundries and other sites such as Mother and Child Institutions. Such confinement was not deemed an infringement of these women's rights but was viewed as both legitimate and appropriate in the context of high rates of illegitimate birth in the 1920s and 1930s. A form of biopolitics, the response emerged from

in Legacies of the Magdalen Laundries
Abstract only
Brian Pullan

people unable or unwilling to keep them for moral or economic reasons or both, by allowing the concealment of illegitimate births and protecting the anonymity of the parents, they hoped to reduce one of the most horrendous crimes, infanticide without baptism. Soul-saving apart, they hoped to serve society by salvaging both the honour of young women whose reputations and marriage prospects would have been ruined and the honour of the families duty bound to watch over their sexual conduct. Arguably, in neither field did public policies actually reduce harm or evil. They

in Tolerance, Regulation and Rescue
Kathleen G. Cushing

performance of specific roles, each of which was defined by a particular code of moral and especially sexual conduct. This discourse, as Moore rightly suggests, underlies the entire transformation of European society during this period. 19 The papacy, at least from the middle part of the eleventh century, took a prominent part in these developments, but its initiatives owed much to earlier social, political and religious change as well as the actions of local religious authorities. The anachronistic focus of many historians solely on the reform papacy, and especially the

in Reform and papacy in the eleventh century
Abstract only
Cara Delay

, Brigham Young University, 1988), p. 166. 22 Carolyn Conley, ‘No pedestals: women and violence in late nineteenth-century Ireland’, Journal of Social History 28: 4 (1995), p. 801. 23 Inglis, Moral Monopoly. 24 Una Crowley and Rob Kitchin, ‘Producing “decent girls”: governmentality and the moral geographies of sexual conduct in Ireland (1922–1937)’, Gender, Place, and Culture 15: 4 (August 2008), pp. 355–72; James M. Smith, Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment (South Bend, IN: Notre Dame Press, 2007). introduction 13 25 Joanna

in Irish women and the creation of modern Catholicism, 1850–1950
Tim Thornton
Katharine Carlton

, sexual conduct outside it, and other such crimes as ‘absurd and filthye languishe’ among the ranks of the fellowship and their apprentices could bring the whole organisation into disrepute, although it is impossible to gauge how successful the Adventurers were in policing illicit behaviour. The York Merchant Adventurers took a more relaxed approach to the behaviour of their apprentices and brethren.While they were keen to stamp out ‘dicyinge, carding, mummynge or any other unlawful games, whereby he doth waist and imbasell his masters goodes’, sexual impropriety is not

in The gentleman’s mistress
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family

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.