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Metropolis, India and progress in the colonial imagination
Author: John Marriott

This is a detailed study of the various ways in which London and India were imaginatively constructed by British observers during the nineteenth century. This process took place within a unified field of knowledge that brought together travel and evangelical accounts to exert a formative influence on the creation of London and India for the domestic reading public. Their distinct narratives, rhetoric and chronologies forged homologies between representations of the metropolitan poor and colonial subjects—those constituencies that were seen as the most threatening to imperial progress. Thus the poor and particular sections of the Indian population were inscribed within discourses of western civilization as regressive and inferior peoples. Over time, these discourses increasingly promoted notions of overt and rigid racial hierarchies, the legacy of which remains to this day. This comparative analysis looks afresh at the writings of observers such as Henry Mayhew, Patrick Colquhoun, Charles Grant, Pierce Egan, James Forbes and Emma Roberts, thereby seeking to rethink the location of the poor and India within the nineteenth-century imagination. Drawing upon cultural and intellectual history, it also attempts to extend our understanding of the relationship between ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’.

Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.

Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Open Access (free)
Entanglements and ambiguities
Saurabh Dube

by a fatalistic attitude toward technologically based historical development as not only pushing forward Western civilization but confronting and vanquishing “technologically primitive cultures.” At the same time, Boas’s universalistic rationalism also led him to assert the existence of “general values” that were “cumulatively realized” in the history of human civilization

in Subjects of modernity
Historicist-inspired diagnoses of modernity, 1935
Herman Paul

Douglas Francis Jerrold charged Toynbee for precisely this reason: they felt he was exaggerating the ‘post-Christian’ element. 47 For Toynbee, however, ‘post-Christian’ was a term of hope, not of despair. In his 1940 Oxford lecture, delivered just weeks after the German invasion of France and written under the influence of a befriended Benedictine monk, 48 he made the argument that even if Western civilization would come to an end, ‘Christianity may be expected not only to endure but to grow in wisdom and stature

in Post-everything
Open Access (free)
John Marriott

available in various forms. The field was cultivated by an empiricist methodology and epistemology; more importantly, I felt, it had an articulating principle of progress. The idea of progress – thought exclusively in terms of Western civilization – took hold at precisely that moment when the unitary field was created, and came to be of critical importance in structuring narratives of metropolis and colony

in The other empire
Louis James

; I set out to master the literature, philosophy and ideas of Western civilization. This is where I have come from, and I would not pretend to be anything else. And I am able to speak of the underdeveloped countries infinitely better than I would otherwise have been able to do. 1 On the same occasion Edward (now

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
A history
Hans Bertens

’ saw in the so-called counterculture of the 1960s a new dawn rather than the self-destructive endgame of Western civilization. What Fiedler sees is a celebration of ‘disconnection’ accompanied by an indifference to the social order and a refusal to accept existing religious, racial or sexual dividing lines. His ‘post-modernists’ 19 are not only post-modern, but their world is ‘post-humanist, post-male, post-white, post-heroic’. 20 Fiedler is the first to connect postmodernism with the 1960s counterculture

in Post-everything
Peter Cowie

Cold War. There was fear of imminent nuclear annihilation, which is of course expressed metaphorically in The Seventh Seal and quite openly in Winter Light , where Max von Sydow’s fisherman believes that the Chinese will develop the atom bomb and then wreak havoc on the enshrined values of our Western civilization. The artist (or in the eyes of the down-to-earth Bergman, the entertainer) is the victim of persecution. He is regarded as subversive, a danger to established society. This was a theme that

in Ingmar Bergman