Afterimage of Empire: Photography in Nineteenth-century India

Front Cover
U of Minnesota Press, 2012 - History - 258 pages

Afterimage of Empire provides a philosophical and historical account of early photography in India that focuses on how aesthetic experiments in colonial photography changed the nature of perception. Considering photographs from the Sepoy Revolt of 1857 along with landscape, portraiture, and famine photography, Zahid R. Chaudhary explores larger issues of truth, memory, and embodiment.

Chaudhary scrutinizes the colonial context to understand the production of sense itself, proposing a new theory of interpreting the historical difference of aesthetic forms. In rereading colonial photographic images, he shows how the histories of colonialism became aesthetically, mimetically, and perceptually generative. He suggests that photography arrived in India not only as a technology of the colonial state but also as an instrument that eventually extended and transformed sight for photographers and the body politic, both British and Indian.

Ultimately, Afterimage of Empire uncovers what the colonial history of the medium of photography can teach us about the making of the modern perceptual apparatus, the transformation of aesthetic experience, and the linkages between perception and meaning.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Sensation and Photography
1
Death and the Rhetoric of Photography X Marks the Spot
37
Anaesthesis and Violence A Colonial History of Shock
73
Armor and Aesthesis The Picturesque in Difference
107
Famine and the Reproduction of Affect Pleas for Sympathy
153
Sensing the Past
189
Acknowledgments
197
Translations
201
Notes
205
Bibliography
235
Index
247
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Zahid R. Chaudhary is assistant professor of English at Princeton University.

Bibliographic information