To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Chapter 5 describes a phenomenon only found in the Sahara known as sell, or bloodsucking and the extraction of essential life forces, arguing that accusations of sell and their related events thus offer an opportunity to view local conceptions of social identity and related fears about shifts in hierarchy, old hostilities between lineages, as well as understandings of the nature of health and illness. While Arabic sources document the existence of bloodsucking at least as early as the fifteenth-century, the colonial archive provides the most concentrated number of records that demonstrate how bloodsucking was a lived and feared reality for desert communities during the colonial period. From these Saharan sources, a fuller understanding emerges of how desert communities envisioned the political and spiritual forces of their social worlds during periods of famine, economic stagnation, and domestic tension. Both the accusation of sell and the l’ḥjāb used to counter it signal the contestation of a society’s status quo.
The absence and presence of state law was central to the ways in which the colonial project was conceived, enacted and legitimated in the southwest Pacific, and this chapter traces the key ways in which questions of land, property and territory were contested across the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. It demonstrates first, that property disputes formed part of a suite of territorialising projects in which a range of actors competed to delimit and assert control over a geographic area and in so doing, constitute their political authority. Second, territorial struggles generated present legal pluralities in which claims to land are legitimated not only by reference to kastom and the state, but also Christianity. Third, the chapter demonstrates that people were very differently positioned to navigate the new social worlds established by the colonial administration and churches. From the outset of the colonial period, the language of state law and the practices of British administrators tended to consolidate particular idealisations of masculine authority, enabling a small number of men to extend their authority while remaining largely inaccessible to the majority of the population.
There are two ways to know something: by description and by acquaintance. What we know by description are things that we have read or heard about; what we know by acquaintance are things that we have experienced ourselves. Descriptions can only be made at a distance which acquaintance requires direct involvement. At first encounters between Europeans and non-Europeans, the parties often danced as a way to get to know each other. In Europe, kings and diplomats danced for the same reason. However, colonialism requires knowledge by description, and thereby an entirely different attitude to the world. A world described in books and in research reports is far easier to control and to exploit.
This chapter argues that people in what became the French colonial territory of Mauritania marshalled l’ḥjāb in their opposition to colonization and how French perceptions of l’ḥjāb shaped their response to that opposition. It covers the first half of the colonial period from c.1900 when the French formally declared Mauritania a colonial military territory into the 1930s when France considered itself in military and administrative control of the colony. The chapter focuses on this period when colonizers first deployed a strategy of collaboration with certain religious leaders and then rapidly shifted to a strategy that restricted the physical movements of the men they called marabouts. These new restrictions on the movement and activity of purveyors of Islamic learning and its sciences targeted l’ḥjāb as a Mauritania-specific factor in broader colonial anxiety over Islam. It is during this period from 1900–1935 that the French established the policies that would directly shape their engagement with l’ḥjāb and, via socioeconomic changes that resulted from those policies, indirectly shape how people of Mauritania relied on l’ḥjāb and its practitioners.
This chapter addresses the history of the Ahl Guennar, a confederation of families known for their mastery of l’ḥjāb, whose members are dispersed among several villages just north of the Senegal River. The Ahl Guennar’s ambiguous racial identity, their shifting religious and occupational affiliations, their secrecy and enigmatic reputation, and their long history in the region make them a compelling case study for the role of Islamic esoteric knowledge in Mauritania’s mercurial political and cultural environment. Claiming descent from a well-known religious figure and a miraculous origin story for their principal village, the Ahl Guennar established themselves by the seventeenth-century learning and teaching the Qur’ān and its sciences and carving out an exclusive space for themselves in the political dynamics of the Gebla, or southwestern region of Mauritania. This chapter deals with the long-term history of the family to better understand how they deploy these stories to claim religious and social roles in the region and to illustrate how Islamic knowledge is transmitted and the ways these Muslim mediators of the spiritual and material worlds depended upon this knowledge to thrive.
African nations have struggled to secure lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, while rich nations have purchased more than they needed, depleting the global supply. High vaccine prices and intellectual property regulations that block the production of cheaper generics have contributed to a condition of African waithood. Hagan examines this waithood, which characterizes the disjuncture between African countries’ existential and humanitarian need for COVID-19 vaccines and corporations’ quest for profits in the pandemic. African waithood, produced by pharmaceutical companies including Moderna and Pfizer, is a direct product of colonialism. Waithood echoes the ongoing colonial relations between African nations and the corporations that continue to exploit them.
To date, studies of imprisonment and incarceration have focused on the growth of male-gendered penal institutions. This essay offers a provocative addition to the global study of the prison by tracing the emergence of a carceral system in West Africa in the nineteenth century that was organized around the female body. By examining archival testimonies of female prisoners held in what were called “native prisons” in colonial Gold Coast (southern Ghana), this essay shows how birthing, impregnation, and menstruation shaped West Africa penal practices, including the selection of the captives, the duration of their time in prison, and how the prison factored into the legal infrastructure around tort settlements for debts and crimes. The term “prison of the womb” is used here to describe how the West African prison held bloodlines captive, threatening the impregnation of a female kin member as a ticking clock for tort settlement. Furthermore, it will be shown that this institution was imperative to the spread of mercantile capitalism in nineteenth-century Gold Coast.
The history of Indian management education is overwhelmingly focused on the period from the 1950s and 1960s onward. This article traces the hitherto underexplored history of how, from the 1860s until the 1950s, Indians thought about and implemented education and training for managers. In particular, it demonstrates how Indian nationalist politicians articulated the nation-building utility of managers and managerial training, and how business education became yoked to nationalists’ broader visions of India’s economic regeneration. Beginning in the early twentieth century, Indian nationalists championed commercial education, advocating its evolution out of its vocational roots into something more scientific and specialized for producing skilled indigenous managers. The precise evolution of Indian commercial education exercised long-term influences on postcolonial management programs. First, Indians established a tradition of surveying the latest pedagogical methods and institutional models from around the world and adapting them to Indian conditions. Second, Indian advocates of commercial education carved out an important role for the state, working on commercial education endeavors with British officials in the colonial era and, later on, placing management education within the ambit of centralized state planning. Management had a fundamentally political valence in India. For this reason, commercial and management education programs in India, unlike in the West, largely avoided questions about their legitimacy.
Weaving together cultural history and critical imperial studies, this book shows how war and colonial expansion shaped seventeenth-century Venetian culture and society. Anastasia Stouraiti tests conventional assumptions about republicanism, commercial peace and cross-cultural exchange and offers a novel approach to the study of the Republic of Venice. Her extensive research brings the history of communication in dialogue with conquest and empire-building in the Mediterranean to provide an original interpretation of the politics of knowledge in wartime Venice. The book argues that the Venetian-Ottoman War of the Morea (1684-1699) was mediated through a diverse range of cultural mechanisms of patrician elite domination that orchestrated the production of popular consent. It sheds new light on the militarisation of the Venetian public sphere and exposes the connections between bellicose foreign policies and domestic power politics in a state celebrated as the most serene republic of merchants.
This chapter briefly surveys the intellectual history of modern, western counterinsurgency theory, as conservative, high modernist utopianism. It sets out concise and synoptic evidence for the argument, which serves as context for the later case chapters. I focus on counterinsurgency manuals—applied theoretical texts written by counterinsurgency practitioners, aiming to shape battlefield and political conduct. Manuals link theory and practice, connecting idealized military and political theory to the history of on-the-ground conduct. My approach is primarily contextualist. Proceeding chronologically, I draw connections and contrasts between canonical manuals, from the early modern period to the present. While small wars or counterinsurgency manuals were conservative from early on, high modernism and utopianism emerged only gradually and incidentally, taking multiple forms. I show how ideas cross-pollinated across texts, accumulating scattershot political idealizations and military practices alike. In so doing, I link micro-level individual intellectual change with larger historical processes, at the global level.
The conclusion synthesizes and reflects upon the case studies and comparative and theoretical contributions in the book. The cases are organized around three categories: first, relatively conventional decentralization initiatives in which reforms were adopted to improve governance; second, contexts in which decentralization has been contemplated as a framework for self-determination for the region’s stateless communities; and finally, decentralization initiatives undertaken in the shadow of conflict and state fragmentation. This concluding chapter develops theoretical insights drawn from the rich terrain for qualitative comparison across these three contexts. It offers reflections on key characteristics of the shared regional context and a typology of factors driving decentralization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It argues that an important contribution of the volume lies in identifying a broader array of motivations for, and actors driving, decentralization than currently reflected in the scholarly literature and in parsing the implications for the institutional design of decentralized government. The chapter concludes by distilling patterns from the cases to identify distinct trajectories of decentralization that are evidenced in the MENA region and their entailments.
Chapter 4 examines the development of a documentary poetics in wartime Venice through three literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, and epideictic oratory. The war inspired a vast outpouring of patriotic and Islamophobic literature that reproduced the fact-oriented discourse of military expansion within a public sphere shaped less by reason than by imagination, emotion, and colonial desire. Viewing the literary field as part of a broader process of opinion formation, the chapter traces the links between political power and different sites of literary activity – the academies, the University of Padua, religious institutions, and the book market. It also shows how poets and writers appropriated military and colonial forms of documentation to mobilise support for the war and popularise images of a mighty imperial republic, destined by God to rule the Orient.
C. E. Callwell’s (1896; 1899; 1906) Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice was perhaps the most influential British Imperial irregular warfare manual of its time. Many existing accounts treat Callwell and other European colonial militarists as primitive—originals from which to explain later theorists’ descent and deviation. I show how he arrived at his account. Previous theorists, like Ewald, drew military lessons from early modern European irregular war, including targeted use of force by stealthy and mobile “light troops.” In contrast, Callwell advocated arbitrary and overwhelming violence, against combatants and civilians alike. I locate Callwell’s thinking at the end of the intellectual and political long nineteenth century. He exemplified a distinctively reactionary strand of British imperial thinking, imagining empire as permanent. His historical knowledge and field experience were encyclopedic. He linked a reactionary-utopian colonial nostalgia with systemic and racist high modernist violence. In the South African War (1899-1902), he helped deploy these practices against white Afrikaner colonists. His manual remained influential into the early twentieth century.
Like the texts of many other major Latin American authors, those of Roberto Bolaño that deal explicitly with race and ethnicity are relatively few. However, one can mention among these such key novels as The Third Reich, published in 2010, but written in 1989, Distant Star published in 1996, The Savage Detectives (1998), By Night in Chile (2003) and his posthumous magnus opus 2666 (2004). Passages and characters in these novels seem to dialogue with contemporary theorizations on race. Underlying his narrative is an acute awareness of the imbrication between fascism, contemporary violence and racism, and the processes of colonization that helped define Latin American cultures and societies.
Research on Africa’s monetary history has tended to focus on the imposition of colonial currencies while neglecting the monetary upheavals which faced the colonial powers after the collapse of the gold standard during World War I. Gardner profiles three crises—in The Gambia, Kenya, and Liberia—resulting from shifting exchange rates between European currencies during the 1920s and 1930s. These three cases illustrate the degree to which colonial policies struggled to keep up with the economic turmoil affecting metropolitan states and bring Africa into the story of global monetary instability during the interwar period, which is often told only from a European perspective.
This article sets out some of the analytical moves that are necessary to developing a distinctive area of research called postcolonial memory studies. A key barrier to synthesising insights from postcolonial and memory studies has been a reductive approach to analogue and digital technologies which operate as vehicles for memory. Three analytical moves are needed to decentre, or at the very least de-naturalise the technological narratives and ecologies of Europe and the US. Media memory studies needs to draw more effectively on postcolonial studies to position mediated memory as inextricably connected to the legacies of colonialism and empire; develop a much broader account of media infrastructures emerging from what is increasingly characterised as ‘global media studies’; make an empirical and analytical shift away from the primacy of digital communications technologies and to explore technologies, not just as artefacts but as knowledge generating cultural practices. The combined value of these three shifts in approaches to media and communications technologies in memory studies research has considerable potential for developing postcolonial media memory studies research which offers a thorough and empirically grounded analysis of the complex ways in which the legacies of colonialism shape and structure the ways in which practices and performances of remembering are mediated in contemporary social life. This shift towards postcolonial memory studies can be seen as part of the wider project of what Anna (Amza) Reading has in this volume called ‘rewilding memory’ by rethinking ‘the underlying ecologies of knowledge within studies of memory’.
This paper explores the extent to which the recent turbulent history of Cyprus is reflected in an emblematic building, the Ledra Palace Hotel. The hotel is situated on Nicosia's buffer zone, the Green Line that, since 1964, has divided the island into Greek Cypriot and Turkish sectors. Since its establishment in 1949 the Ledra Palace has been the background of the country's key historical events. In this paper, the Ledra Palace is analysed as an integral part of Cyprus’ cultural heritage which contributes to the understanding and negotiation of the island's difficult past.
Federation was promoted as an ideal before and between the two world wars, in both colonial independence movements and internationalist thought. It also became a term for promoting reforms to imperial governance, referring sometimes to greater political and economic integration and at other times to devolution or self-rule. Writers around the world responded to these developments directly, in specific political and constitutional discussions, and through indirect engagement with federalism’s rhetorical, conceptual, historical, and affective structures. Modernists such as Gertrude Stein, W. H. Auden, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner exemplify the range of white metropolitan writers’ playful, earnest, and creative engagements with federal themes during the interwar period. Paradigmatic of a so-called ‘federal moment’ amidst global decolonisation movements during the post-war period, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children illustrates federalism’s contested status as both a legacy of colonial rule and a potential mechanism for imagining postcolonial futures.
The first chapter focuses on Leonard Woolf’s journey from colonialist civil servant working on behalf of the British Empire in Ceylon, to writer and celebrated anti-imperialist. Looking closely at his correspondence and autobiographical reflections on the years 1904 to 1911, as well as the novel, The Village in the Jungle (1913), written upon his return to England, it details how Woolf’s encounters with animals gradually disrupt his human- and European-centred worldview. The chapter begins by examining Woolf’s role in both facilitating and partaking in the hunting of big game, through which his early attraction to shooting animals shifted to forceful critique of its imperialist, anthropocentric and commercial dimensions. It then explains how hunting in Woolf’s first novel is associated with gendered and racial violence. In the process, Woolf is placed in dialogue with postcolonial theory and histories of trophy hunting, and his approach is compared to that of George Orwell, Harry Storey and John Still among others.