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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #153: July 23, 2004

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 37 - Issue 02 - May 2003
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

Changes in Wool Production and Usage in Colonial India (pp257-286)
Tirthankar Roy (Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune)
The paper shows how production, marketing and uses of wool changed in colonial India (1858-1947). The changes involved location, products, people, and nature of the firm, and were induced by two circumstances, one arising from the raw material side, and the other from the consumption side. There were limitations on access to common grazing lands, a theme that takes us to those of herding, customary rights, and the economics of wool production. The economic character of weaving was bound with that of wool production. The nature of that bond changed in the colonial period. On the consumption side, imported garments altered tastes and introduced new standards. This latter process encouraged standardization, larger scale, and urban production, and in a more limited way diversification and technological change. Power-looms, hosiery, and worsted were the outcomes of the last process.

Representation and Representations of the Railways of Colonial and Post-Colonial South Asia (pp287-326)
Ian J. Kerr (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
This paper offers a preliminary exploration of the multi-faceted ways in which the railways of South Asia have been represented in textual, aural and visual media. I do this despite my reservations about some representational-type studies presented via language and theories I find opaque. Nonetheless, I do want to signal that I am not a closed-minded trainspotter; I am not one of those railway historians a reviewer of Michael Freeman's Railways and the Victorian Imagination labelled '"trainspotters" to a man…combining the enthusiasms of the hobbyist and the econometrician in scholarly mimicry of that singular British type.' The reviewer, of course, was referring to those railway devotees who haunt British railway stations desperately taking pictures of locomotives and recording their serial numbers and not to the alienated characters in a recent movie of similar name.

The Great Tradition Globalizes: Reflections on Two Studies of 'The Industrial Leaders' of Madras (pp327-362)
John Harriss (London School of Economics and Political Science)
The title of the paper alludes to Milton Singer's book When A Great Tradition Modernizes: an anthropological approach to Indian civilization, and particularly to Part IV of the book. This has the title 'Modernization and Traditionalization' and includes a long essay called 'Industrial Leadership, the Hindu Ethic and the Spirit of Socialism-described in a review by Richard Park at the time as 'the capstone' of the book as a whole.

Reassessing Indirect Rule in Hyderabad: Rule, Ruler, or Sons-in-Law of the State? (pp363-379)
Karen Leonard (University of California, Irvine)
Those of us who work on the Indian princely states sometimes seem to share a certain marginalization, a certain distance from the debates shaping the writing of South Asian history today. We also share, more positively, views of that history that do not focus on British colonial rule and are not based on colonial sources, views that arguably offer more continuity with pre-British history and alternative visions of the South Asian past, present, and future.

Languages on Stage: Linguistic Pluralism and Community Formation in the Nineteenth-Century Parsi Theatre (pp381-405)
Kathryn Hansen (University of Texas at Austin)
The Parsi theatre was the dominant form of dramatic entertainment in urban India from the 1860s to the 1930s. Named for its Bombay-based pioneers, the Parsi theatre blended certain European practices of stagecraft and commercial organization with Indic, Persian, and English stories, music, and poetry. Through the impact of its touring companies, it had a catalytic effect on the development of modern drama and regional theatre throughout South and Southeast Asia. Moreover, Parsi theatre is widely credited with contributing to popular Indian cinema its genres, aesthetic, and economic base. With Hindi films now the major cultural signifier for the middle classes and the 'masses' in South Asia and its diaspora, documentation and evaluation of the Parsi theatre is much needed, especially to connect it convincingly to the cinematic medium that followed.

J. G. Farrell's Indian Works: His Majesty's Subjects? (pp407-427)
D. C. R. A. Goonetilleke (University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka)
. . . There had always been some corner of the Empire where His Majesty's subjects were causing trouble . . .

J. G. Farrell, Troubles (London: Cape, 1990) p. 215.

J. G. Farrell has, in common with Paul Scott, an admiration for Joseph Conrad (obvious in their use of symbolism, topographical and otherwise), a fascination with the decline of Empire as a subject for fiction; a reputation that rests on a series of historical novels on this subject. Farrell died at the age of 44 whereas Paul Scott did so at 58; therefore it is not fair to compare their overall achievement. Yet it is necessary to observe that, whereas Scott portrayed one country during a single short period in his major work, Farrell's view was global and spanned virtually a century, lighting upon three important crises in three different countries during three different periods: Troubles (1970), set in the context of the Irish disturbances of 1919-21; The Siege of Krishnapur (1973), located during the 1857 'Mutiny' in India; The Singapore Grip (1978), focusing on the period leading up to the surrender of Singapore to the Japanese during the Second World War, the first signal defeat of the might of the British Empire by an Asian power.

Four Colonies and a Kingdom: A Comparison of Fiscal, Trade and Exchange Rate Policies in South East Asia in the 1930s (pp429-460)
Anne Booth (School of Oriental and African Studies University of London)
In the latter part of the 1990s, several of the major economies in South East Asia underwent one of the worst economic crises in living memory. It is thus not surprising that economic historians with an interest in the region are re-examining the experience of the 1930s. One crucial difference between the crisis of the late 1990s and that of the early 1930s is that the latter was preceded, and in large measure caused, by problems in the world economy. When the industrial world fell into a severe economic depression in the early 1930s, most parts of Asia were affected, mainly through falling export receipts which in turn affected colonial budgets. A second difference was that most parts of South East Asia in the 1930s were still under colonial rule, and had little autonomy in framing or implementing economic policy. Only Thailand remained nominally independent, but even there the influence of foreign, especially British, economic advisers was considerable. Given the very different economic interests which the colonial powers (Dutch, French, American and British) had in their South East Asian colonies, and given the widely differing nature of the economic links between colony and metropole, it was to be expected that the impact of the 1930s slump, and the policy responses which it provoked, would vary. This indeed turned out to be the case.

Taiwan's Foreign Economic Policy: The 'Liberalization Plus' Approach of an Evolving Developmental State (pp461-483)
Christopher M. Dent (University of Hull)
Globalization has compelled state governments to embrace economic liberalization as a means to participate purposely in an increasingly 'borderless' world economy. At a general level, this is seen to enable the economies in their charge to engage more effectively in the integrated international linkages of production, finance, distribution and investment being created by transnational business activities. Economic liberalization refers to an opening up of markets to greater competition, which had previously been constricted by various forms of state regulation or intervention, e.g. import tariffs. Hence, liberalization can under many circumstances lead to a general retreat of the state's position in matters of economic governance. However, it is argued here that smart approaches to economic liberalization do not necessarily require a weakening of state capacity but rather its upgrading. As such, questions about `how much' state involvement or economic liberalization is required to meet the challenges posed by globalization need to be replaced with those of 'what kind'.

Achieving Reversion: Protest and Authority in Okinawa, 1952-70 (pp485-508)
Christopher Aldous (King Alfred's College of Higher Education, Winchester)
The build-up and development of the Okinawan struggle for reversion to Japanese administration does not figure prominently in the English-language literature on the American occupation of Okinawa, nor does it occupy a central place in Japanese analyses of this subject. Rather there is a tendency to view Okinawa as a subset of US-Japanese postwar relations, and to explain reversion as a process carried through by senior American and Japanese officials, largely governed by high-level diplomatic and military-strategic considerations. There is often only passing mention of the rising tensions within Okinawa itself and, perhaps more importantly, the increasing effectiveness through the 1960s of the indigenous reversion movement centred on the Okinawa Teachers' Association (Okinawa kyoshokuinkai). For example, John Welfield's trenchant account of the 'three years of tortuous negotiations' that culminated in November 1969 in an American pledge to return the islands hardly mentions conflicts within Okinawa itself, remarking only that 'the swing to the left' in 1968 foreshadowed major problems for the US if Okinawan demands for reversion were not met.

Modern Asian Studies (2004)
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