Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral by Deana Heath

By Deana Heath

Purifying Empire explores the fabric, cultural and ethical fragmentation of the limits of imperial and colonial rule within the British empire within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries. It charts how a specific biopolitical undertaking, specifically the force to manage the obscene in past due nineteenth-century Britain, was once reworked from a countrywide right into a worldwide and imperial enterprise after which re-localized in various colonial contexts, India and Australia, to serve decidedly diversified ends. whereas a substantial physique of labor has validated either the position of empire in shaping ethical regulatory initiatives in Britain and their variation, transformation and, now and then, rejection in colonial contexts, this e-book illustrates that it's in reality purely via a comparative and transnational framework that it truly is attainable to clarify either the temporalist nature of colonialism and the political, racial and ethical contradictions that sustained imperial and colonial regimes.

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Scott, Seeing Like a State, p. 320. ‘The governmentalization of culture’, as Nicholas Thomas argues, is not productive since ‘colonial discourse cannot be construed as a unitary or stable archive in the fashion of a set of official statistics or reports’. Thomas, Colonialism’s Culture, p. 46. For works that regard culture and government as virtually synonymous see, for example, Bhabha, The Location of Culture; and Cohn, Colonialism and its Forms. Scott, Seeing Like a State, p. 332. 24 Purifying Empire more effectively than efforts to regulate sexuality.

139; and Day, Contraband and Controversy, pp. 73–4. Studying law is important for understanding the nature of governmental power since, as Victor Tadros claims, ‘Law operates as a field through which techniques of governance can intervene in the disciplinary network’, although ‘by connecting itself to both of the poles of bio-power law, in justifying itself . . [law] masks the need of each of these forms of power to legitimate themselves’. Tadros, ‘Between Governance and Discipline’, 79. Benton, Law and Colonial Cultures, p.

90 Moreover, the institution of a hegemonic state took much longer to evolve in colonial India and remained subject to greater contestation than in Australia. For the early East India Company state the role of governance was inconsequential. The techniques of government were gradually instituted with the acquisition of the administration of police, justice and revenue, and by the early nineteenth century regular and centralized forms of administration began to evolve and the state began to stake 88 89 90 Hancock, Australia, p.

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