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Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India

Sinha, Nitin:
Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India : Bihar, 1760s-1880s / Nitin Sinha. - London and New York : Anthem Press, 2012. - xxxviii, 272 S. : Ill. - (Anthem Modern South Asian History)
Hochschulschrift. Teilw. zugl.: London, Univ., Diss., 2007 unter dem Titel: Communication and Patterns of Circulation : Trade, Travel and Knowledge in Colonial Bihar, 1760s-1870s
ISBN 978-0-85728-448-8
£ 60,00 / US$ 99,00
DDC: 384.095412309034

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 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. [Verlagsinformation]

Abbreviations. vii
List of Abbreviations. ix
Glossary. xi
List of Tables and Illustrations. xv
Introduction. xvii
1. From Affective Forms to Objectification: Spatial Transition from Pre-colonial to Colonial Times. 1
2. India and its Interiors. 23
3. Going into the Interiors. 54
4. Knowing the Ways. 91
5. Controlling the Routes. 117
6. Changing Regime of Communication, 1820s–1860s. 155
7. Of Men and Commodities. 181
8. The Wheels of Change. 203
Conclusion. 233
Bibliography. 241
Index. 263

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. Profile page.

Quellen: Anthem Press; WorldCat; Amazon (UK); Library of Congress
Bildquelle: Anthem Press
Bibliographie: [1]


  1. Sinha, Nitin (2012).  Communication and Colonialism in Eastern India: Bihar, 1760s-1880s. Anthem Modern South Asian History. xxxviii, 272 S.