Islanded: Britain, Sri Lanka, and the Bounds of an Indian by Sujit Sivasundaram

By Sujit Sivasundaram

How did the British come to beat South Asia within the overdue eighteenth and early 19th centuries? solutions to this query often commence in northern India, neglecting the dramatic occasions that marked Britain’s contemporaneous subjugation of the island of Sri Lanka. In Islanded, Sujit Sivasundaram reconsiders the arriving of British rule in South Asia as a dynamic and unfinished means of territorialization and country construction, revealing that the British colonial venture was once framed by way of the island’s traditions and maritime placement and inbuilt half at the version they provided.

 

Using palm-leaf manuscripts from Sri Lanka to learn the reliable colonial archive, Sivasundaram tells the tale of 2 units of islanders in wrestle and collaboration. He explores how the British equipped the method of “islanding”: they aimed to create a separable unit of colonial governance and alternate in accordance with conceptions of ethnology, tradition, and geography. yet instead of serving as an intensive rupture, he finds, islanding recycled traditions the British discovered from Kandy, a country within the Sri Lankan highlands whose customs—from thoughts of warfare to perspectives of nature—fascinated the British. deciding upon up a number strange subject matters, from migration, orientalism, and ethnography to botany, drugs, and schooling, Islanded is a fascinating retelling of the appearance of British rule.

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