Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan / Edition 1

Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan / Edition 1

by Janice Boddy
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691123055

ISBN-13: 9780691123059

Pub. Date: 07/02/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Civilizing Women is a riveting exploration of the disparate worlds of British colonial officers and the Muslim Sudanese they sought to remake into modern imperial subjects. Focusing on efforts to stop female circumcision in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan between 1920 and 1946, Janice Boddy mines colonial documents and popular culture for ethnographic details to

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Overview

Civilizing Women is a riveting exploration of the disparate worlds of British colonial officers and the Muslim Sudanese they sought to remake into modern imperial subjects. Focusing on efforts to stop female circumcision in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan between 1920 and 1946, Janice Boddy mines colonial documents and popular culture for ethnographic details to interleave with observations from northern Sudan, where women's participation in zâr spirit possession rituals provided an oblique counterpoint to colonial views.

Written in engaging prose, Civilizing Women concerns the subtle process of "colonizing selfhood," the British women who undertook it, and those they hoped to reform. It suggests that efforts to suppress female circumcision were tied to the continuation of slavery and the rise of commercial cotton growing in Sudan, as well as to concerns about infant mortality and maternal health. Boddy traces maneuverings among political officers, teachers, missionaries, and medical personnel as they pursued their elusive goal, and describes their fraught relations with Egypt, Parliament, the Foreign Office, African nationalists, and Western feminists. In doing so, she sounds a cautionary note for contemporary interventionists who would flout local knowledge and belief.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691123059
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/02/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
440
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xi

Abbreviations xv

Glossary xvii

Frequently Mentioned Names xxi

Chronology of Events Discussed in the Text xxv

Introduction 1

Part 1: Imperial Ethos 11

Chapter 1: The Gordon Cult 13

Interlude 1, Zâr and Islam 47

Chapter 2: Tools for a Quiet Crusade 52

Interlude 2, Colonial Zayran 77

Chapter 3: "Unconscious Anthropologists" 82

Interlude 3, Spirit Tribes 103

Part 2: Contexts 107

Chapter 4: Domestic Blood and Foreign Spirits 109

Chapter 5: North Winds and the River 128

Chapter 6: Cotton Business 152

Part 3: The Crusades 177

Chapter 7: Training Bodies, Colonizing Minds 179

Chapter 8: Battling the "Barbarous Custom" 202

Chapter 9: Of "Enthusiasts" and "Cranks" 232

Chapter 10: "More Harm than Good" 261

Chapter 11: The Law 285

Chapter 12: Conclusion: Civilizing Women 305

Notes 321

References Cited 373

Index 391

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