Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India / Edition 1

Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India / Edition 1

by Bernard S. Cohn
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691000433

ISBN-13: 9780691000435

Pub. Date: 08/19/1996

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Bernard Cohn's interest in the construction of Empire as an intellectual and cultural phenomenon has set the agenda for the academic study of modern Indian culture for over two decades. His earlier publications have shown how dramatic British innovations in India, including revenue and legal systems, led to fundamental structural changes in Indian social relations.

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Overview

Bernard Cohn's interest in the construction of Empire as an intellectual and cultural phenomenon has set the agenda for the academic study of modern Indian culture for over two decades. His earlier publications have shown how dramatic British innovations in India, including revenue and legal systems, led to fundamental structural changes in Indian social relations. This collection of his writings in the last fifteen years discusses areas in which the colonial impact has generally been overlooked. The essays form a multifaceted exploration of the ways in which the British discovery, collection, and codification of information about Indian society contributed to colonial cultural hegemony and political control.

Cohn argues that the British Orientalists' study of Indian languages was important to the colonial project of control and command. He also asserts that an arena of colonial power that seemed most benign and most susceptible to indigenous influences--mostly law--in fact became responsible for the institutional reactivation of peculiarly British notions about how to regulate a colonial society made up of "others." He shows how the very Orientalist imagination that led to brilliant antiquarian collections, archaeological finds, and photographic forays were in fact forms of constructing an India that could be better packaged, inferiorized, and ruled. A final essay on cloth suggests how clothes have been part of the history of both colonialism and anticolonialism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691000435
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/19/1996
Series:
Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
824,979
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.56(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
1Introduction3
2The Command of Language and the Language of Command16
3Law and the Colonial State in India57
4The Transformation of Objects into Artifacts, Antiquities, and Art in Nineteenth-Century India76
5Cloth, Clothes, and Colonialism: India in the Nineteenth Century106
Notes163
Index181

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