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Title: Gender, Subalternity and Silence : recovering women's experiences from histories of transportation
Authors: Anderson, Clare
First Published: 2008
Publisher: Palgrave macmillan
Citation: Anderson, C. 'Gender, Subalternity and Silence : recovering women's experiences from histories of transportation' in Ghosh, A, (ed.) Behind the veil : resistance, women and the everyday in colonial south asia, Copyright © 2008 Palgrave macmillan, pp. 145-166
Abstract: In this chapter I would like to explore some of the theoretical complexities around the retrieval of women’s experiences in considering the transportation of Indian convict women to penal settlements in Mauritius (1815-53) and Southeast Asia – Bencoolen (1787-1825), Penang (1790-1860), Malacca and Singapore (1825-60) and the Burmese provinces of Arakan and Tenasserim (1828-62). I will argue that, during this period, colonial administrations gendered the criminal body in their organisation of both convict labour and the penal hierarchy. Such gendering was inflected with colonial categories of hierarchy, racial difference and criminality. This chapter will explore three broad themes. First, I will look at the relationship between the body, space and punishment. Second, I will consider the construction of colonial discourses of convict sexuality that transformed convict women into embodied sites of criminal reproduction. Third, I will make some suggestions about the meaning of female convicts’ ‘silences’ and ‘voices’ in the colonial archive. Comparative literature has shown how the purpose of colonial sources can be both interrogated and inflected to reveal how historical agents subvert the official meaning of the documents in which they appear. Women’s agency thus begins to emerge from cracks in the colonial archaeology of knowledge.
ISBN: 9780230553446
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © 2008, Palgrave macmillan. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: Anderson, Clare., Gender, Subalternity and Silence: Recovering Women's Experiences from Histories of Transportation in Behind the Veil: Resistance, Women and the Everyday in Colonial South Asia, 2008, Palgrave Macmillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan'.
This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Historical Studies

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