Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India

Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India

Bihar, 1760s–1880s

By Nitin Sinha

This volume offers a detailed analysis of colonial policies in respect to communication in India – via roads, ferries, steamships and railways – and reveals how communication became an integral part of colonial governance in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Hardback, 310 Pages

ISBN:9780857284488

September 2012

£70.00, $115.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India: Bihar, 1760s–1880s' departs from the dominant scholarship in South Asian history that focuses narrowly on railways, and instead argues that any discussion of railway-generated changes needs to see such changes, at least up to the 1880s, as situated amidst existing patterns and networks of circulation within which roads and ferries were crucial. The volume also offers a detailed exploration of early colonial policies on road building and ferry improvement – an area that has hitherto remained unexplored.

Just as the new development of steam technology required and necessitated ‘lateral growth’ alongside the older technologies, so too were trade linkages marked by the interconnectedness of local and supra-local ties in which the world of peddlers intersected with that of native merchants and capitalist sahibs. This volume contends that the history of colonial communication is not a story of ‘displacement’ alone – either of one means by another or of one group by another – but also of realignment. Combining the understanding of production of knowledge about routes with the ways the practice of surveying and mapping led to territorial construction of the national space of India, this book reinterprets the ‘colonial state–space’ as constituting a series of layered components, both of ‘inherited spaces and networks’ from pre-colonial times and of the processes of objectification that colonial rule initiated.

The aim of this volume is to contribute to the ‘history of social spaces’, a new field of study in which neither cultural nor economic discourse is overridden by the other. This is achieved via a micro-historical study of local circulatory regimes, together with an exploration of colonial and imperial cultural discourses on communications.

Reviews

‘Dr Sinha provides a fascinating study of transportation and communication in Bihar. This book moves, and therefore moves all of us, beyond the published literature. The periodization, the 1760s to the 1880s, enables Sinha to identify better the continuities and discontinuities within the circulation of people, goods and ideas in India before and after the 1850s advent of railways.’ —Professor Ian J. Kerr, University of Manitoba

Author Information

Nitin Sinha is a research fellow at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (Centre for Modern Oriental Studies) in Berlin. His current work focuses on the socio-historical dimensions of the River Ganga in India. He has published on issues of transport and the ‘Mutiny’ of 1857, mobility and criminality, and railway labour movements in nineteenth- and twentieth-century colonial India.

Series

No series for this title.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations; List of Illustrations; Introduction; Chapter 1. From Affective Forms to Objectification: Spatial Transition from Pre-colonial to Colonial Times; Chapter 2. India and its Interiors; Chapter 3. Going into the Interiors; Chapter 4. Knowing the Ways; Chapter 5. Controlling the Routes; Chapter 6. Changing Regime of Communication, 1820s–60s; Chapter 7. Of Men and Commodities; Chapter 8. The Wheels of Change; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

Links

Latest Tweets

  • Check out our weekly roundup of #universitypress blog posts from May 18 – May 24, featuring #teatime,… https://t.co/MDavtf7YjP

    - 23:05:15 on 25/05/2020
  • Andy Meyer praises, "a truly enlightening—and unexpectedly timely—glimpse into the becoming of the little #nation t… https://t.co/ouyFdop1JG

    - 18:05:15 on 25/05/2020
  • @TAC_NISO wrote an article in the @scholarlykitchn discussing what we're missing from in-person interactions. From… https://t.co/NgWloL29g2

    - 09:05:15 on 24/05/2020
  • Vic Sanborn writes, "#Austen scholars and Austen fans who have delved deeply into her characters’ lives and the his… https://t.co/qh8LaONbV4

    - 09:05:15 on 23/05/2020
  • RT @pubperspectives: Our growing collection of #COVID19 related content in world publishing: https://t.co/XpKToAAa0o Today: Stories from #…

    - 09:05:15 on 22/05/2020
  • THE RISE OF LITTLE BIG NORWAY chronicles Norway’s rise from #Nordic peripherality to #Arctic frontliner of today.… https://t.co/f8oiUzvimB

    - 09:05:15 on 22/05/2020
  • POST-MULTICULTURAL WRITERS AS NEO-COSMOPOLITAN MEDIATORS by Sneja Gunew is the first book to bring together global… https://t.co/AentDq747o

    - 09:05:15 on 22/05/2020
  • In honor of #WorldDayforCulturalDiversity, Anthem Press will be highlighting titles/authors that engage with the ri… https://t.co/kvAoNH3Nvh

    - 09:05:15 on 22/05/2020
  • RT @MigKnow: Sounds like a helpful glossary for everybody interested in knowledge and migration too: "Keywords for Travel Writing Studies"…

    - 09:05:15 on 22/05/2020
  • “A comprehensive and thorough treatment of the complex problem of transboundary #waterdiplomacy.” - @PennGlobal Sco… https://t.co/FCl8Bjsgoi

    - 09:05:15 on 21/05/2020

Comodo SSL