While there has been for the past two decades a lively and extensive academic debate about postcolonial representations of imperialism and colonialism, there has been little work which focuses on 'placed' materialist or critical geographical perspectives. The contributors to this volume offer such a perspective, asserting the inadequacy of conventional 'self/other' binaries in postcolonial analysis which fail to recognise the complex ways in which space and place were implicated in constructing the individual experience of Empire. Illustrated with case studies of British colonialism in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Ireland and New Zealand in the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the book uncovers the complex and unstable spaces of meaning which were central to the experience of emigrants, settlers, expatriates and indigenous peoples at different time/place moments under British rule. In critically examining place and hybridity within a discursive context, (Dis)placing Empire offers new insights into the practice of Empire.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction: Place, network, and the geographies of Empire, Lindsay Proudfoot and Michael Roche. Part I 'Dis-Locations': Colonial spaces and sites of resistance: landed estates in 19th Century Ireland, Paddy Duffy; The unsettled country: landscape, history, and memory in Australia's Wheatlands, Joy McCann; Place and Presbyterian discourse in Colonial Australia, Lindsay Proudfoot; Irishness, gender and household space in "An Up-country Township", Di Hall. Performing power, demonstrating resistance: interpreting Queen Victoria's visit to Dublin in 1900, Yvonne Whelan. Part II 'Translocations': Environment-identity convergences in Australia, 1880-1950, J.M. Powell; Empire, Duty and land: soldier settlement in New Zealand 1915-1924, Michael Roche; 'Oriental Sore' or 'Public Nuisance': the regulation of prostitution in Colonial India, 1805-1889, M. Satish Kumar; Prostitution and the place of Empire: regulation and repeal in Hong Kong and the British Imperial network, Philip Howell. Part III 'Displacement': Displacement, Lindsay Proudfoot and Michael Roche; Index.
’(Dis)placing Empire challenges totalizing narratives of Britain's Empire - and succeeds admirably. What is revealed is not just Empire's different 'where' and 'when' but its different 'who'. Engaging essays highlight the interconnections between local places, global networks and lived experiences. Thoroughly researched and sensitively written, this work should command the attention of all those interested in understanding what Empire meant and how it worked.’ Charles W.J. Withers, University of Edinburgh, UK ’...a most welcome addition to Ashgate Publishing’s Heritage, Culture and Identity� series...should become recommended reading for relevant undergraduate and postgraduate courses.’ New Zealand Geographer