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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #160: August 19, 2004

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 35 - Issue 01 - February 2001
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

Orality, Literacy and Memorization: Priestly Education in Contemporary South India (pp1-31)
C. J. FULLER (London School of Economics and Political Science)
For the debate on orality, literacy and memorization, India provides some striking evidence. In his comparative analysis of 'oral aspects of scripture', Graham gives the Hindu tradition a special place, for the 'ancient Vedic tradition represents the paradigmatic instance of scripture as spoken, recited word' (Graham 1987:68). The Vedas, the oldest texts of Hinduism, have been transmitted orally for three thousand years or more, despite the very early implementation of writing, and it is the Vedas as recited from memory by Brahmans that are alone authoritative. A corollary of the spoken word's primacy is that in teaching the Vedas and other texts, although 'written texts have been used', 'a text without a teacher to teach it directly and orally to a pupil is only so many useless leaves or pages' (ibid.: 74).

Courts of Law and Styles of Self in Eighteenth-Century Madras: From Hybrid to Colonial Self (pp33-74)
MATTISON MINES (University of California, Santa Barbara)
My concern is public representations of individuals and how these were affected by British East India Company courts, judicial proceedings, and the law in Madras city during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Company records reveal that this was a period of dramatic transformation in self-representation, just as it also was in Company rule. My purpose is to trace the transformation of the manner in which individuals represented themselves and others and what this process reveals about the constitution of Madras society and Company rule before and after the establishment of an independent judiciary at the end of the eighteenth century. Most particularly, in this paper I seek to demonstrate how the transformation of East India Company courts of judicature from interested courts, strictly controlled by the Company, to independent courts is associated with changes that greatly affected the manner in which individuals—both British and Indian—thought of themselves and others in Madras city public life. This transformation was of a piece with the establishment of independent judiciaries in England and North America at the time and indicates how Madras too was influenced by these political developments.

Bad Language: The Role of English, Persian and other Esoteric Tongues in the Dismissal of Sir Edward Colebrooke as Resident of Delhi in 1829 (pp75-112)
KATHERINE PRIOR, LANCE BRENNAN and ROBIN HAINES (Flinders University of South Australia)
In 1829, at the height of Lord William Bentinck's regime of reform, a keen young civil servant in north India took on one of the last of the Company's nabobs and won. It was a clash of a new style of Haileybury civilian with an old Company servant which remarkably prefigured the personal and philosophical dynamics of the Anglicist-Orientalist education debate a few years later. Sir Edward Colebrooke, Bt, was Resident of Delhi, 67 years old and nearly 50 years in the East India Company's service. His youthful adversary was his own first assistant, Charles Edward Trevelyan, aged 22 and, in Sir Edward's words, 'a Boy just escaped from school'. In June 1829 Trevelyan charged Colebrooke with corruption, and despite being cut by many of Delhi's European residents, saw the prosecution through to its conclusion some six months later when the Governor-General in Council was pleased to order Colebrooke's suspension from the service, a sentence ultimately confirmed by the Court of Directors.

The Technology of Sanitation in Colonial Delhi (pp113-155)
VIJAY PRASHAD (Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut)
I. Sewage Under Capitalism
The preservation of the wealth and welfare of nations, and advances in culture and civilisation depend on how the sewage question is resolved.(von Liebig, 1850s).
Delhi is a very suggestive and moralising place—such stupendous remains of power and wealth passed and passing away—and somehow I feel that we horrid English have just 'gone and done it', merchandised it, revenue it, and spoiled it all. (Emily Eden, 1838).
Veena Oldenburg argues that after the Rebellion of 1857 British colonial officials inaugurated a process of urban reconstruction following three imperatives: safety, sanitation and loyalty. To make the cities of India safe, clean and loyal, the colonial regime exerted a measure of 'social control . . . In an era when tinkering with the structure of society had been officially and unambiguously forsworn.'. If the highest offices of the colonial regime proclaimed its remove from society, she argues, the 'lowest levels of decision making and action', intruded effectively to reconstruct the social fabric of urban life. In this essay, we will examine this lowest level of the colonial regime in the local government of Delhi (the Delhi Municipal Corporation [DMC], the commissioner's office, the army, the Public Works Department [PWD], the railway officials) and its relations with the local nobility (the rais and amirs), the merchants, and working people.

American-British Aircraft Competition in South China, 1926-1936 (pp157-193)
GUANGQIU XU (Northwest Arkansas Community College)
In the 1920s and 1930s China was racked by civil strife. Although the Nationalist government was established in Nanking in 1928, it exerted its power only in a small part of China, mainly in the lower Yangtze valley. When the Nanking government endeavored to unify China by force, the local warlords, who strove to maintain their own armies and bases, directed against this central government. Political divisions and tensions persisted between Nanking and the local governments until 1936.

Opponents of Appeasement: Western-educated Chinese Diplomats and Intellectuals and Sino-Japanese Relations, 1932-37 (pp195-216)
STEPHEN G. CRAFT (Valparaiso University)
Many years ago, the eminent historian Gordon A. Craig wrote: 'One of the recurring themes in those books on the diplomatic pre-history of the Second World War which have come to us from the former enemy countries is the plight of the professional diplomat, whose training and knowledge convinced him that the policy of his government was leading straight to disaster but whose advice was seldom solicited and never followed.' Craig went on to show that this pattern of 'the neglect and abuse of the resources of expert diplomacy' occurred in the democratic countries of the time. Professional Chinese diplomats (and intellectuals) fared little better than their counterparts, democratic or totalitarian, in the 1930s when their leader, Chiang Kai-shek, pursued a policy of appeasement toward Japan. Chiang's appeasement policy, or what some have referred to as a policy of accommodation or gradualism, has received much treatment from historians.

The Anticlimax of an Ill-starred Sino-American Encounter (pp217-244)
Late 1946 was a time of anticlimax in the history of Sino-American relations. For four years since the outbreak of the Pacific War, thousands of American servicemen had been in China rubbing shoulders with the Chinese. When victory finally came, more United States troops (mainly the marines of the Third Amphibious Corps) poured in, and the Chinese hailed them as heroes. In less than a year, however, as hostilities between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) closed in, the Americans were caught in the crossfire. Along the communication lines in North China, armed clashes between US and CCP forces escalated; in the cities, anti-American rallies became daily occurrences. The Chinese now became hostile to its erstwhile allies; wherever US servicemen went, they received boos from the locals. The rupture seemed to be irreversible: US forces started to evacuated, George Marshall, the presidential envoy to China, also ended his yearlong mediation, thus bringing the extraordinary intercourse between the two nations to an anticlimactic conclusion.

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

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