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Constructing the Criminal Tribe in Colonial India: Acting Like a Thief

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2057-9
176 pages
April 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
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Description

Constructing the Criminal Tribe in Colonial India provides a detailed overview of the phenomenon of the “criminal tribe” in India from the early days of colonial rule to the present.
  • Traces and analyzes historical debates in historiography, anthropology and criminology
  • Argues that crime in the colonial context is used as much to control subject populations as to define morally repugnant behavior
  • Explores how crime evolved as the foil of political legitimacy under military
  • Examines the popular movement that has arisen to reverse the discrimination against the millions of people laboring under the stigma of criminal inheritance, producing a radical culture that contests stereotypes to reclaim their humanity
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

1. Placing Criminals, Displacing Thuggee: Historical Representation, "Fact," and Stereotype, c. 1830–2005.

2. How to Make a Thug: Recipes for Producing Crime, 1830–1910.

3. Discipline, Labor, Salvation: Repression, Reform, and the Thuggee Precedent.

4. Acting Like a Thief: From Aesthetics of Survival to the Politics of Liberation.

Notes.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Author Information

Henry Schwarz is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University.  He is author of Writing Cultural History in Colonial and Postcolonial India (1997) and co-editor of Reading the Shape of the World: Toward an International Cultural Studies  (with Richard Dienst, 1996) and of A Companion to Postcolonial Studies (with Sangeeta Ray, Blackwell, 2000).
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The Wiley Advantage

  • A detailed overview of the phenomenon of the “criminal tribe” in India from the early days of colonial rule to the present, tracing and analyzing historical debates in historiography, anthropology and criminology
  • Argues that crime in the colonial context is used as much to control subject populations as to define morally repugnant behavior
  • Explores how crime evolved as the foil of political legitimacy under military
  • Examines the popular movement that has arisen to reverse the discrimination against the millions of people laboring under the stigma of criminal inheritance, producing a radical culture that contests stereotypes to reclaim their humanity
See More

Reviews

"Henry Schwarz's well researched account of the notions of crime and criminal communities given currency during the British colonial rule in India  presents the whole spectrum of the darkest side of colonialism.  His discussion of Budhan Theatre's intervention in this great human tragedy reaasures one that art still has a purpose in our time." Ganesh Devy, Founder, Dentified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group

"This book is an important contribution to studies of minority subjectivity, colonial discourse and social policy in India. Henry Schwarz, a literary and cultural critic of distinction, sustains an engaging dialogue between academic enquiry and socio-political activism. The lucid text invokes forms of subaltern performance to frame an interrogation of colonialist knowledge, as pertaining to the so-called De-Notified Tribes, in myriad historical and ideological contexts."  Dr Daniel J. Rycroft, Lecturer in Asian Arts and Cultures, School of World Art Studies, University of East Anglia, Author of Representing Rebellion: visual aspects of counter-insurgency in colonial India (2006)

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