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Open Access (free)
Postcolonial governance and the policing of family
Author: Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.

Joe Turner

power – a power that was ‘dissipated by daily familiar intercourses at Earl’s Court’ (Shepard 1986: 101). The fear was that if such unions were given the blessing of the church and state in the metropole, this promised to weaken the racialised-sexualised power of colonial administration, and weaken violent practices that apparently held native passions at bay all over the British Empire. In this context, we need to consider how the arrival of ‘savages’ in London was constituted as a problem of movement across empire – how the movement of certain racialised bodies to

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Joe Turner

consider more appropriately what the relationship is between citizens who are never allowed to belong and those who are formally made deportable, and with that killable. And in turn we must consider how this structures citizenship more broadly. This is what I turn to now, offering up some examples to remind us how citizenship functioned across the British Empire, in processes of colonial domestication, before reflecting on the reworking of deprivation and monstrousness today as an extension and readaptation of colonial rule. Deprivations under empire On 27 April 1888

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Joe Turner

7 Looking back Seven young and adolescent children sit with an older man, eating melon in a working field in Jamaica, around 1860. They are wearing the working clothes of the agricultural poor. It is likely that they are indentured labourers, bound to both the land and white settler farms by indenture contracts which dominated the imperial economy in Jamaica after the abolition of slavery. This photo, entitled ‘These water melons’ (figure 5), captures a particular intimate moment of the British Empire. Kate Anderson and Graham Mortimer Evelyn (2019) remind us

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Bordering intimacy
Joe Turner

how empire and colonial power is continually expressed, relived and resuscitated in practices of borders/bordering in contemporary Britain. What this book does This book traces the role that intimacy and ‘family’ plays in the contemporary government of mobility; specifically, how borders function to control certain people and populations as part of the ongoing legacies of European (and more specifically British) empire. As the title of this book suggests, it explores how intimacy and borders relate to each other as a conduit for postcolonial governance – that is

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Joe Turner

) The above event, and the narrative of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre more broadly, provides a compelling theorisation of familial domesticity and the regulation of mobility under the British Empire. Bertha Mason, the subject of the above passage, is presented as the first ‘creole’ wife of Mr Rochester, one of the central protagonists in the novel. Her incarceration 30 Bordering intimacy in the attic of Rochester’s house remains a powerful example of the nature of racialisation and control in Victorian England. This chapter uses the figure of Bertha and her

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Joe Turner

nationalism and colonial racism. If heteronormative ideas of family organise who is ‘unfamilial’ and suspicious in modern Britain (as I argued in the last chapter), this equally organises who endangers the ‘real’ family and how these dangers should be eradicated. Relating to the Monsters 139 historical use of ‘family’ under the British Empire, I demonstrate here how family is still wrapped up with dispossession (of rights and life). Of violence and monsters Before going into the specifics of the events in Rotherham, they deserve to be situated in the wider context of

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy In the 1870s ethnographers Henry Huxley and J. H. Lamprey devised a systematic way of photographing aboriginal people across the British Empire. Their subjects were stripped naked and photographed in front of measuring apparatus, including a cross sectional mesh, so to compare anatomical characteristics. Huxley saw this as useful for racial categorisation but also to make judgements about the suitability of populations for coerced labour and other types of work in mind of moral ‘uplift’ (Maxwell 2000: 42–43). This ethnographic approach was contrasted

in Bordering intimacy
Helene Brembeck

build-up of the British Empire, when British banking institutions were asked to safeguard valuables for clients on extended journeys. The banks turned to the moving (drayage) companies for storage, and the movers produced storage space in primitive lofts (Darden, 2001). Later, banks assumed responsibility for their own storage in strong-rooms built in the basements of banks with vaulted ceilings – hence the word ‘vault’. 46 Overwhelmed by overflows But bank officials gladly relate a grand history of generic safekeeping dating back many thousands of years to ancient

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Imaginaries, power, connected worlds
Jeremy C.A. Smith

slowed dramatically after that with the decline in gold mining and the constriction of demand for indentured Chinese labour. Indian migration continued unabated, however. Somewhere between thirty and forty million Indians were recruited to other parts of the British Empire between 1830 and the First World War (Castles et  al., 2014:  88–​9). The decline of Indian industry in the face of favoured British imports created adverse conditions that pushed labourers overseas. Japanese labourers exported, in effect, to Hawaii, Peru and Brazil formed hybrid communities. Longer

in Debating civilisations