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  • Benjamin D. O'Dell (a1)


Few topics connected to the study of colonial India have produced quite as much scholarship in recent years as the issue of colonial Indian education reform. The past decade alone has witnessed the publication of no fewer than eight English-language books on the subject, as well as a steady stream of journal articles. Part of the appeal of such research is no doubt a result of India's privileged place in the British Empire during the nineteenth century. In 1881, India's first complete census documented the existence of 253,891,821 Indian subjects living under the British Raj – or, to put it another way, a population nearly ten times the size of England and Wales's own population during the same period. For scholars, education offers a particularly fruitful site for understanding British colonial ideology. In addition, it provides an important glimpse into the lives of Indian subjects. An extensive print archive, manifest in sources as diverse as political speeches, bureaucratic files, periodicals, and memoirs, has greatly aided research into the development of colonial education. At the same time, the tendency for research to privilege particular regional focuses has left troublesome gaps in the historical record.



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Ali, Syed Ameer. “A Cry from the Indian Mahommedans (1882).” Politics and Empire in Victorian Britain: A Reader. Ed. Burton, Antoinette. New York: Palgrave, 2001. 185–89.
Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar. Caste, Culture, and Hegemony: Social Dominance in Colonial Bengal. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2004.
Bandyopadhyay, Sekhar. From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2004.
Banerjee, Sukayana. Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire. Durham: Duke UP, 2010.
Benjamin, Walter. Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Ed. Arendt, Hannah. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, 1988.
Bhattacharya, Tithi. The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal, 1848–85. New York: Oxford UP, 2005.
Burton, Antoinette. “Tongues Untied: Lord Salisbury's “Black Man” and the Boundaries of Imperial Democracy.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 42.3 (2000): 632–61.
Census of England and Wales. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1883.
Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2000.
Chandra, Shefali. “Mimicry, Masculinity, and the Mystique of Indian English: Western India, 1870–1900.” The Journal of Asian Studies 68.1 (2009): 199225.
Chandra, ShefaliThe Sexual Life of English: Languages of Caste and Desire in Colonial India. Durham: Duke UP, 2012.
Chatterjee, Partha. The Nation and its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories. New Delhi: Oxford UP, 1993.
Chatterjee, Partha. “The Nationalist Resolution of the Women's Question.” Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History. Ed. Sangari, Kumkum and Vaid, Sudesh. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1989. 233–54.
Chaudhary, Latika. “Land Revenues, Schools and Literacy: A Historical Examination of Public and Private Funding of Education.” Indian Economic Social History Review 47.179 (2010): 179204.
Chaudhary, M. A., and Chaudhary, Gautam. The Global Encycylopaedia of Political Geography. New Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House, 2009.
Darwin, John. Empire Project: The Rise and Fall of the British World System, 1830–1970. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009.
Dasgupta, Subrata. Awakening: The Story of the Bengal Renaissance. Noida, UP: Random House India, 2010.
Green, William A., and Deasy, John P. Jr.Unifying Themes in the History of British India, 1757–1857: An Historiographical Analysis.” Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 17.1 (1985): 1545.
Gupta, Charu. “Introduction.” Gendering Colonial India: Reforms, Print, Caste and Communalism. Ed. Gupta, Charu. New Delhi: Orient Blacksawn, 2012. 137.
“The History of the Institution.” Bethune College, Kolkata. Bethune College, n.d. Web. 21 April 2013.
Macaulay, Thomas Babington, “Minute on Education in India (1835).” Politics and Empire in Victorian Britain: A Reader. Ed. Burton, Antoinette. New York: Palgrave, 2001. 1821.
Mann, Michael. “‘Torchbearers Upon the Path of Progress’: Britain's Ideology of a ‘Moral and Material Progress’ in India. An Introductory Essay.” Colonialism as Civilizing Mission. Ed. Fischer-Tiné, Harald and Mann, Michael. London: Anthem P, 2004. 129.
Martin, John Biddulph. “Electoral Statistics: A Review of the Working of our Representative System from 1832–1881, in view of Prospective Changes Therein.” Journal of the Statistical Society of London 47.1 (1884): 75124.
Minault, Gail. “Educated Muslim Women: Real and Ideal.” Gendering Colonial India: Reforms, Print, Caste and Communalism. Ed. Gupta, Charu. New Delhi: Orient Blacksawn, 2012. 109–36.
Minault, Gail. Secluded Scholars: Women's Education and Muslim Social Reform in Colonial India. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998.
Naoroji, Dadhabai. “Speech at the second Indian National Congress, Calcutta (1886).” Politics and Empire in Victorian Britain: A Reader. Ed. Burton, Antoinette. New York: Palgrave, 2001. 190–94.
Nurullah, S., and Naik, J. P.. A History of Education in India. 2nd ed.London: Macmillan, 1951.
Pernau, Margrit, ed. The Delhi College: Traditional Elites, the Colonial State, and Education before 1857. New York: Oxford UP, 2006.
Plotz, John. Portable Property: Victorian Culture on the Move. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2008.
Plowden, W. Chichele. The Indian Empire Census of 1881, Statistics of Population. Vol. 2. Calcutta: Superintendant of Government Printing India, 1883.
Rao, Anupama. The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India. Berkeley: U of California P, 2009.
Rose, Jonathan. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001.
Roy, Benoy Bhusan, and Roy, Pranati. Zenana Mission: The Role of Christian Missionaries for the Education of Women in 19th Century Bengal. Delhi: ISPCK, 1998.
Sarkar, Mahua. Visible Histories, Disappearing Women: Producing Muslim Womanhood in Late Colonial Bengal. Durham: Duke UP, 2008.
Sartori, Andrew. Bengal in Global Concept History: Culturalism in the Age of Capital. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2008.
Savage, David W.Missionaries and the Development of a Colonial Ideology of Female Education in India.” Gender & History 9.2 (1997): 201–21.
Sen, Krishna. “Lessons in Self-Fashioning: ‘Bamabodhini Patrika’ and the Education of Women in Colonial Bengal.” The Nineteenth-Century Press in India. Ed. Codell, Julie F.. Spec. issue of Victorian Periodicals Review 37.2 (2004): 176–91.
Sengupta, Parna. Pedagogy for Religion: Missionary Education and the Fashioning of Hindus and Muslims in Bengal. Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 2011.
Seth, Sanjay. Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India. Durham: Duke UP, 2007.
Viswanathan, Gauri. Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India. New York: Columbia UP, 1989.
Whitehead, Clive. Colonial Educators: The British Indian and Colonial Education Service, 1858–1983. New York: I. B. Tauris, 2003.
Whitehead, Clive. “The historiography of British Imperial education policy, Part I: India.” History of Education 34.3 (2005): 315–29.


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