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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #158: August 13, 2004

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 36 - Issue 04 - October 2002
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

From Campsie to Kedgeree: Scottish Enterprise, Asian Trade and the Company Raj (pp769-791)
B. R. Tomlinson (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
Campsie: Presbytery of Glasgow, Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, County of Stirling. The Parish of Campsie measures eight English miles in length, and seven in breadth . . . . It is bounded on the North by the parish of Fintry; on the West by Strathblane and Baldernock; on the South by Calder and Kirkintilloch; and on the East by Kilsyth; forming a distinct commissariat along with Hamilton, stiled the commissariat of Hamilton and Campsie.

Kedgeree: A village and police station on the low lands near the mouth of the Hoogly, on the west bank and 68 miles below Calcutta. It was formerly well known as a usual anchorage of the larger Indiamen.

This article deals with the activities of one Scottish family—the Lennox family of Campsie in Stirlingshire—in Asian trade during the closing decades of the eighteenth century. The growth of private trade by Europeans in Asia in this period, and of the Agency Houses that managed much of their activity, is well-known. However, the classic studies of this subject have relied largely on official records and have used these to address issues in the history of imperial expansion. Thus standard accounts have tended to concentrate on the political relations between private traders and the East India Company, and to see private trade in the eighteenth century mainly as the by-product of the corruption of Company power. Viewed from inside the private business networks that made this possible, the perspective is rather different.

Labour Relations in an Early Colonial Context: Madras, c.1750–1800 (pp793-826)
Ravi Ahuja (Centre for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin)
I. Introduction
Since the 1990s, academic fashion has rediscovered and revamped theories of the 'clash of civilizations' (or rather, of the solipsism of cultures) that had already been popularized successfully in the early years of our 'age of extremes' by conservative ideologues like the German Oswald Spengler. Indian 'indigenism' appears to be another subsidiary branch of that ideological current. Recent writings on India's colonial period thus often tend to disconnect its precolonial from its colonial past, in order to construct incompatible exogenous and indigenous 'principles' of social organization. The imposition of 'alien' discourses on the Indian context is presented as the disruption of a communitarian social system that has been painted sometimes in pastel colours. 'Indigenism', as has been rightly remarked, tends to harmonize the precolonial past. The obsession with abstract cultural 'principles' (or, to use Spengler's term, 'Urphänomene', i.e. 'primordial phenomena') is often accompanied by a lack of interest in empirical research that is concerned with the material conditions of human existence and with the relations between human beings emerging from these concrete historical conditions. These trends notwithstanding, this paper is concerned with elementary aspects of social praxis, which rendered, for all their apparent 'triviality', members of South India's society, to use an expression of Marx, 'actors and authors of their own history'. Hence, an analysis is attempted of labour relations in Madras City and its hinterland in the late eighteenth century, in the transitional period between the precolonial and colonial regimes. The discussion of the source material will highlight the problem of continuity and change—it is intended to identify ancien régime forms of subordinating labour that proved to be compatible with colonial conditions and to distinguish them from forms that did not survive or were newly created.

Contested Nationalisms; Negotiated Terrains: The Way Sikhs Remember Udham Singh 'Shahid' (1899–1940) (pp827-870)
Louis E. Fenech (University of Northern Iowa)
As many of us know, 1999 was a particularly important year for the Sikh community worldwide as it marked the three-hundredth anniversary of the Khalsa. The hype and fanfare which surrounded this milestone had of course drowned out reference to virtually all of that year's other Sikh events of note. These events may not have been as profound as Guru Gobind Singh's declaration of 1699, but they are still very important and denote landmarks in the history of the Sikh people.

Road to Chagai: Pakistan's Nuclear Programme, Its Sources and Motivations (pp871-912)
Bhumitra Chakma (Dhaka University)
Pakistan carried out six nuclear explosions on 28 and 30 May 1998 at the Chagai test site in reaction to India's conduct of five nuclear tests about two weeks earlier. Expectedly, the tests provoked strong international condemnation. On the eve of, and following the tests, Islamabad pointed out that its action was basically reactive to the Indian tests and necessary to ensure the survival of Pakistan. Indeed, since the 1960s, if not the 1950s, Islamabad has pursued an India-reactive nuclear policy. India's nuclear activities have basically shaped Pakistan's nuclear policy and postures. Hence, not surprisingly, when India decided to unveil its 'nuclear purdah', Pakistan immediately followed suit.

The Emblematics of Gender and Sexuality in Indian Nationalist Discourse (pp913-936)
Anshuman Mondal (Brunel University)
At one point in the novel Kanthapura (1938) the eponymous village is literally emptied of men. Thereafter, the novel focuses, for the most part, on the remaining female inhabitants of the village and their resistance to male embodiments of colonial authority, namely the policemen. The moment dramatically foregrounds the whole question of gender in the novel which, though seldom noticed by critics, is one of the most fundamental issues in the text. Yet a gendered reading has been consistently overlooked in the critical discourse in favour of a reading which approaches the novel as an account of nationalist politics. In the effort to collapse the novel's politics into merely an instance of nationalist sentiment what is missed is the possibility of gendering a reading of nationalism itself. In other words, Kanthapura offers us the opportunity to locate Rao's representations of gender and sexuality within the discursive parameters of nationalist ideology in the 1930s and in so doing enable us to examine how these gender representations are in fact overdetermined by questions of identity, both communal and national. It is important, however, to recognize that Rao's gender representations—like those of many other Indian writers, thinkers, and ideologues—operated within the discursive framework of an ideology which had, over the years, elaborated a complex symbolism around signs of femininity. It is important, therefore, to trace the genealogy of gender representations within Indian nationalist discourse.

'Wider Opportunities': Religious Revival, Nationalist Awakening and the Global Dimension in Colombo, 1870–1920 (pp937-967)
Mark Frost (St John's College, Cambridge)
During the latter part of the nineteenth century and until after the First World War the imperial cities of the Indian Ocean became thriving centres for cultural exchange and intellectual debate. Entrepôts like Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, Rangoon and Singapore witnessed the emergence of a non-European, western-educated professional class that serviced the requirements of expanding international commercial interests and the simultaneous growth of the imperial state. Learned elites drawn from the ranks of civil servants, company clerks, doctors, teachers, public inspectors, communications workers, merchants, bankers and (above all) from the legal profession began to form themselves into intelligentsias by immersing themselves in discursive activity, and quickly developed habits of intellectual sociability that became organized and systematic. The Bhadralok of Calcutta, the Theosophists of Madras and the peranakan (local born) Chinese reformers of Singapore, to name but three of these groups, shared similar concerns for reform and oversaw parallel campaigns for religious revival, social and educational improvement and constitutional change. Associational life and journalism flourished in this environment, both in the bureaucratic centres of the British Empire and beyond, in such places as the Dutch port of Batavia and French-administered Saigon, to such an extent that one can fairly speak of a transformation in the public sphere across the Indian Ocean region.

The International Opium Conference of 1924–25 and Japan (pp969-991)
Harumi Goto-Shibata (Chiba University, Japan)
I do not understand very clearly what has happened at the Opium Conference except that Japan is taking sides with America against us. This no doubt means that Japan is glad to show America that in spite of the exclusion clause she has no objection to friendly cooperation on occasion. It is also a hint to us. . . . Japan also sometimes feels it prudent to defer to this same powerful country though in so doing she may to her great regret inconvenience her former ally.
This is what Sir Charles N. E. Eliot (1862–1931), the British Ambassador to Japan from 1920 to 1926, wrote home regarding the Japanese representatives' stance at the International Opium Conference held in Geneva from November 1924 to February 1925. At the initial meetings of the conference, unexpected arguments between the representatives of Britain and Japan puzzled the British officials. This paper examines why the Japanese delegates took such a firm attitude on the occasion, and why Japan failed to adopt policies which might have altered the situation.

How a Republic of Chinese Red Beards was Invented in Paris (pp993-1010)
Mark Gamsa (University of Oxford)
At the beginning, a warning is due: this is a study of a false trail to real events. Between the years 1883–86, a mixed community sprang up on a side stream of the river Albazikha, a right tributary of the upper Amur. The discovery of gold, in a Chinese territory previously unfamiliar to any but the local Evenki tribes, had brought about a stampede of fortune seekers. Since Russia's annexation of the Amur District by the Aigun treaty of 1858, and its acquisition of the Maritime District by the treaty of Peking in 1860, the Amur and the Ussuri had marked the eastern borderline between the two empires, and the left banks of both rivers were by now dotted with Cossack settlements. Russians thus made up the bulk of the arrivals to the newly discovered deposits of placer gold, opposite the Cossack station Ignashino. However, estimates at different points in time spoke of up to ten percent of Chinese gold-seekers, while persistent reports mentioned the presence among the miners of the representatives of many other nationalities, from Siberian and Chinese native peoples to European and American adventurers. It must have been the Russians who gave the name Zheltuga to the stream along which gold was extracted. The name derived from a tributary of the Shilka river in the Nerchinsk mining area in Eastern Siberia, where gold had been discovered as early as 1860 (and where, in the territory of modern Chita District, the small river Zheltuga still flows today). Soon after its foundation, the rapidly growing gold camp became widely known in the Russian Far East as 'the Amur California'. It was the need to describe the phenomenon in terms more familiar to readers in European Russia, but also the temptation to project on the miners' assembly such political aspirations that it did not possess, which led later writers to create the fanciful label of a 'Zheltuga republic'.

Modern Asian Studies (2004)
Copyright ©2004 Cambridge University Press

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