Bodies in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History

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Tony Ballantyne, Antoinette Burton
Duke University Press, Jan 31, 2005 - History - 445 pages
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From portrayals of African women’s bodies in early modern European travel accounts to the relation between celibacy and Indian nationalism to the fate of the Korean “comfort women” forced into prostitution by the occupying Japanese army during the Second World War, the essays collected in Bodies in Contact demonstrate how a focus on the body as a site of cultural encounter provides essential insights into world history. Together these essays reveal the “body as contact zone” as a powerful analytic rubric for interpreting the mechanisms and legacies of colonialism and illuminating how attention to gender alters understandings of world history. Rather than privileging the operations of the Foreign Office or gentlemanly capitalists, these historical studies render the home, the street, the school, the club, and the marketplace visible as sites of imperial ideologies.

Bodies in Contact brings together important scholarship on colonial gender studies gathered from journals around the world. Breaking with approaches to world history as the history of “the West and the rest,” the contributors offer a panoramic perspective. They examine aspects of imperial regimes including the Ottoman, Mughal, Soviet, British, Han, and Spanish, over a span of six hundred years—from the fifteenth century through the mid-twentieth. Discussing subjects as diverse as slavery and travel, ecclesiastical colonialism and military occupation, marriage and property, nationalism and football, immigration and temperance, Bodies in Contact puts women, gender, and sexuality at the center of the “master narratives” of imperialism and world history.

Contributors. Joseph S. Alter, Tony Ballantyne, Antoinette Burton, Elisa Camiscioli, Mary Ann Fay, Carter Vaughn Findley, Heidi Gengenbach, Shoshana Keller, Hyun Sook Kim, Mire Koikari, Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Melani McAlister, Patrick McDevitt, Jennifer L. Morgan, Lucy Eldersveld Murphy, Rosalind O’Hanlon, Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez, Fiona Paisley, Adele Perry, Sean Quinlan, Mrinalini Sinha, Emma Jinhua Teng, Julia C. Wells


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Page 422 - Antoinette Burton, Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994).
Page 422 - David Arnold, Colonizing the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993...

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About the author (2005)

Tony Ballantyne is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He is the author of Orientalism and Race: Aryanism in the British Empire and the editor of Science, Empire, and the European Exploration of the Pacific.

Antoinette Burton is Catherine C. and Bruce A. Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, Department of History, University of Illinois. She is the author of Dwelling in the Archive: Women Writing House, Home, and History in Late Colonial India and At the Heart of the Empire: Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain. She is the editor of After the Imperial Turn: Thinking with and through the Nation (also published by Duke University Press) and a coeditor of The Journal of Women's History.

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