Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire (Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies)

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9780822346081: Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire (Next Wave: New Directions in Women's Studies)
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In this remarkable account of imperial citizenship, Sukanya Banerjee investigates the ways that Indians formulated notions of citizenship in the British Empire from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Tracing the affective, thematic, and imaginative tropes that underwrote Indian claims to formal equality prior to decolonization, she emphasizes the extralegal life of citizenship: the modes of self-representation it generates even before it is codified and the political claims it triggers because it is deferred. Banerjee theorizes modes of citizenship decoupled from the rights-conferring nation-state; in so doing, she provides a new frame for understanding the colonial subject, who is usually excluded from critical discussions of citizenship.

Interpreting autobiography, fiction, election speeches, economic analyses, parliamentary documents, and government correspondence, Banerjee foregrounds the narrative logic sustaining the unprecedented claims to citizenship advanced by racialized colonial subjects. She focuses on the writings of figures such as Dadabhai Naoroji, known as the first Asian to be elected to the British Parliament; Surendranath Banerjea, among the earliest Indians admitted into the Indian Civil Service; Cornelia Sorabji, the first woman to study law in Oxford and the first woman lawyer in India; and Mohandas K. Gandhi, who lived in South Africa for nearly twenty-one years prior to his involvement in Indian nationalist politics. In her analysis of the unexpected registers through which they carved out a language of formal equality, Banerjee draws extensively from discussions in both late-colonial India and Victorian Britain on political economy, indentured labor, female professionalism, and bureaucratic modernity. Signaling the centrality of these discussions to the formulations of citizenship, Becoming Imperial Citizens discloses a vibrant transnational space of political action and subjecthood, and it sheds new light on the complex mutations of the category of citizenship.

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"Becoming Imperial Citizens is a virtuoso performance. It is written with verve, confidence, and elegance, and it is based on immense scholarship. Sukanya Banerjee's exploration of an elite native Indian politics that preceded the anticolonial nationalist movement shows how citizenship can be (and has been) located outside the frame of the (free) nation. This compelling and important argument is bound to affect thinking in many fields including political theory, colonial history, and postcolonial and feminist studies."-- Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, author of The Scandal of the State: Women, Law, Citizenship in Postcolonial India

"There is no refusing Sukanya Banerjee's very persuasive argument about the importance of studying the complexities of citizenship prior to the arrival of nationhood. Where previous scholarship has seen only the obsequious colonial subject, Banerjee discloses an early-twentieth-century, transnationally constituted, and carefully honed political, professional, and personal identity: that of the imperial citizen. This is an outstanding, extremely well-written book, with a prodigious amount of new archival research and a clear line of argument from start to finish."--Rosemary M. George, author of The Politics of Home: Postcolonial Relocations and Twentieth-Century Fiction

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"What is most valuable about "Becoming Imperial Citizens" is Sukanya Banerjee's attention to formulations of citizenship other than that of the normative, rights-bearing citizen of the nation-state. Banerjee examines how differently positioned subjects of the colonial state conceived of themselves as citizens of the British Empire, and the kinds of belonging they enacted despite being denied the benefits of official, full citizenship. She also makes the valuable and vital linkages between imperial citizenship and diasporic belongings, thereby bringing colonial and postcolonial histories into conversations with questions of globalization."--Inderpal Grewal, author of" Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms"

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this remarkable account of imperial citizenship, Sukanya Banerjee investigates the ways that Indians formulated notions of citizenship in the British Empire from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Tracing the affective, thematic, and imaginative tropes that underwrote Indian claims to formal equality prior to decolonization, she emphasizes the extralegal life of citizenship: the modes of self-representation it generates even before it is codified and the political claims it triggers because it is deferred. Banerjee theorizes modes of citizenship decoupled from the rights-conferring nation-state; in so doing, she provides a new frame for understanding the colonial subject, who is usually excluded from critical discussions of citizenship.Interpreting autobiography, fiction, election speeches, economic analyses, parliamentary documents, and government correspondence, Banerjee foregrounds the narrative logic sustaining the unprecedented claims to citizenship advanced by racialized colonial subjects. She focuses on the writings of figures such as Dadabhai Naoroji, known as the first Asian to be elected to the British Parliament; Surendranath Banerjea, among the earliest Indians admitted into the Indian Civil Service; Cornelia Sorabji, the first woman to study law in Oxford and the first woman lawyer in India; and Mohandas K. Gandhi, who lived in South Africa for nearly twenty-one years prior to his involvement in Indian nationalist politics. In her analysis of the unexpected registers through which they carved out a language of formal equality, Banerjee draws extensively from discussions in both late-colonial India and Victorian Britain on political economy, indentured labor, female professionalism, and bureaucratic modernity. Signaling the centrality of these discussions to the formulations of citizenship, Becoming Imperial Citizens discloses a vibrant transnational space of political action and subjecthood, and it sheds new light on the complex mutations of the category of citizenship. Seller Inventory # POW9780822346081

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this remarkable account of imperial citizenship, Sukanya Banerjee investigates the ways that Indians formulated notions of citizenship in the British Empire from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Tracing the affective, thematic, and imaginative tropes that underwrote Indian claims to formal equality prior to decolonization, she emphasizes the extralegal life of citizenship: the modes of self-representation it generates even before it is codified and the political claims it triggers because it is deferred. Banerjee theorizes modes of citizenship decoupled from the rights-conferring nation-state; in so doing, she provides a new frame for understanding the colonial subject, who is usually excluded from critical discussions of citizenship.Interpreting autobiography, fiction, election speeches, economic analyses, parliamentary documents, and government correspondence, Banerjee foregrounds the narrative logic sustaining the unprecedented claims to citizenship advanced by racialized colonial subjects. She focuses on the writings of figures such as Dadabhai Naoroji, known as the first Asian to be elected to the British Parliament; Surendranath Banerjea, among the earliest Indians admitted into the Indian Civil Service; Cornelia Sorabji, the first woman to study law in Oxford and the first woman lawyer in India; and Mohandas K. Gandhi, who lived in South Africa for nearly twenty-one years prior to his involvement in Indian nationalist politics. In her analysis of the unexpected registers through which they carved out a language of formal equality, Banerjee draws extensively from discussions in both late-colonial India and Victorian Britain on political economy, indentured labor, female professionalism, and bureaucratic modernity. Signaling the centrality of these discussions to the formulations of citizenship, Becoming Imperial Citizens discloses a vibrant transnational space of political action and subjecthood, and it sheds new light on the complex mutations of the category of citizenship. Seller Inventory # POW9780822346081

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