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作者 Hamilton, Amanda
書名 Inhabiting the middle race: How five Eurasian men walked the color line in British India, 1778--1852
國際標準書號 9781267071224
book jacket
說明 203 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 73-04, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Dipesh Chakrabarty
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Chicago, 2011
In this dissertation I study the development of race practices in early nineteenth-century India by focusing on the careers of a group of Eurasian men. India's European-Indian mixed-race population was a particular source of anxiety to the East India Company because it blurred a line that the British were trying to draw between rulers and ruled societies in terms of color-as-civilizational development. I contend that British race practices are just as hybrid in nature as the bodies of those against those against whom they developed racist ideologies in early nineteenth-century India. My research demonstrates that ideas about racial hybridity travelled not only between India and Britain, but between the Iberian empires of South America and the Caribbean and India as well. The evidence for this is that in the 1820s, commentators on Eurasian marginality evinced interest in Portuguese and Spanish Casta categories. These categories were distinct from caste as conventionally thought in India because they referred specifically to gradations of racial mixture rather than socio-religious endogamous purity
By the end of the eighteenth century Eurasians in India became marginalized anomalous aliens in the country of their birth. Understandably, John William Ricketts, who presented a petition to Parliament on behalf of his mixed-race countrymen in 1829, lamented that they comprised a group of internal outlaws, bereft of an official legal status and denied viable employment prospects. This was in spite of, or perhaps because of, the fact that they outnumbered white Europeans in India by a considerable number. One estimate even suggests that they outnumbered a couple of thousand "pure" whites by some 17,000
What was it like to be a man on the borderline of brown and white in 1820s India? How was it that Nasir-ud-Daula, Colonel James Skinner Bahadur Ghalib Jung changed color three times during his life? Why did John William Ricketts subject himself to a humiliating interrogation by the Earl of Ellenborough in London when he could have stayed in a secure, if dead-end, job in the Calcutta board of Customs? What made Charles Fenwick and James Kyd advocate that Eurasians become agrarian patriots in the Indian countryside? And what on earth did young Henry Luis Vivian Derozio do to get himself described as "the root of all evil and the cause of public alarm" by the conservative Calcutta press?
My study begins to examine the particular dilemmas faced by Eurasian men in 1820s India. The reason that I study men is that though mixed-race women suffered almost total marginalization in early nineteenth-century society, Ghosh (2008) shows that they could, on occasion marry into the culture and even into the color of their husbands. Men, by contrast, because they had identities of their own, could not expect to assimilate into either the British community or into the Indian community. Thus they became an anomalous, dispensable population in the land of their birth. I choose to focus on the careers and texts of a small group of prominent men because this approach enables me to examine their diverse, intrepid, and sometimes eccentric problem-solving strategies in response to developing racial hierarchies. The lives of five Eurasian notables form the lynch pins of my project: Lieutenant Colonel James Skinner (1778--1841), military adventurer and renaissance man; John William Ricketts (1791--1835), parliamentary lobbyist and missionary; Charles Fenwick (1792--1852), proponent of Eurasian agricultural self-sufficiency; James Kyd (1786--1836), Calcutta shipping magnate and philanthropist, and lastly, Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (1809--1831), poet, teacher and journalist
School code: 0330
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 73-04A
主題 Biography
History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
History, Modern
South Asian Studies
0304
0332
0582
0638
Alt Author The University of Chicago. South Asian Languages and Civilizations
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