Reading the East India Company 1720-1840: Colonial Currencies of Gender
In Reading the East India Company, Betty Joseph offers an innovative account of how archives—and the practice of archiving—shaped colonial ideologies in Britain and British-controlled India during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Drawing on the British East India Company's records as well as novels, memoirs, portraiture and guidebooks, Joseph shows how the company's economic and archival practices intersected to produce colonial "fictions" or "truth-effects" that strictly governed class and gender roles—in effect creating a "grammar of power" that kept the far-flung empire intact. And while women were often excluded from this archive, Joseph finds that we can still hear their voices at certain key historical junctures. Attending to these voices, Joseph illustrates how the writing of history belongs not only to the colonial project set forth by British men, but also to the agendas and mechanisms of agency—of colonized Indian, as well as European women. In the process, she makes a valuable and lasting contribution to gender studies, postcolonial theory, and the history of South Asia.
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appear Bashwar woman Bengal Black Hole British law bungalow Burdwan Calcutta caste chapter civil colonial archive Company’s council cultural debates Defoe Defoe’s despotism Devaroy discourse discussion domestic East India Company economic eighteenth century emergence empire English Englishmen European event everyday factory factory records female zamindars feminism feminist ﬁction ﬁctional ﬁeld ﬁguration ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁne ﬁrst Foston Gayatri Chakravorty Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak gendered Graham Guha Hartly House Hastings’s Hindu Hindu women historical subject Holwell Holwell’s Ibid imperialism Indian women inﬂuence letter literary male military Montesquieu moral Mount Henneth Nancy Armstrong native women novel Ofﬁce ofﬁcers ofﬁcial ofﬁcial record petition political postcolonial Ranajit Guha rani’s rape reading representations revenue role Roxana rulers secluded woman sensibility settlement sexual signiﬁcant Sirmur social soldier Sophia space speciﬁc Spivak subject positions testimony texts textual tion trade transformed tropes Vade-Mecum various violence Warren Hastings writing zamindars