Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in Britain, India and Australia (Hardback)
  • Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in Britain, India and Australia (Hardback)
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Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in Britain, India and Australia (Hardback)

(author)
£72.00
Hardback 244 Pages / Published: 03/06/2010
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Purifying Empire explores the material, cultural and moral fragmentation of the boundaries of imperial and colonial rule in the British Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It charts how a particular bio-political project, namely the drive to regulate the obscene in late nineteenth-century Britain, was transformed from a national into a global and imperial venture and then re-localized in two different colonial contexts, India and Australia, to serve decidedly different ends. While a considerable body of work has demonstrated both the role of empire in shaping moral regulatory projects in Britain and their adaptation, transformation and, at times, rejection in colonial contexts, this book illustrates that it is in fact only through a comparative and transnational framework that it is possible to elucidate both the temporalist nature of colonialism and the political, racial and moral contradictions that sustained imperial and colonial regimes.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521194358
Number of pages: 244
Weight: 520 g
Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'There were always political, racial and moral contradictions in the British Empire and this excellent study demonstrates them with particular clarity. This is an interesting book to read and shows just how heterogeneous Britain's imperial project was.' The Historical Association (history.org.uk)
'Immediately, the combination of approach and object of inquiry is intriguing. Add to this its unconventional geography - Britain, India, and Australia over the long nineteenth century - and we have a book that surprises and puzzles but ultimately energizes the field.' The American Historical Review
'Heath has written an exceptional book on nineteenth-century British colonial policy and the ways in which [this] came to impact policies in Australia and India and the governing of those nation states.' LIMINA: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies
"There were always political, racial and moral contradictions in the British Empire and this excellent study demonstrates them with particular clarity. This is an interesting book to read and shows just how heterogeneous Britain's imperial project was." -The Historical Association
"Heath has written an exceptional book on nineteenth century British colonial policy and the ways in which these came to impact policies in Australia and India and the governing of those nation states." -LIMINA: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies
Purifying Empire sets an agenda for future research in this field." -Simon J. Potter, H-Albion
"...this ambitious book is an important contribution to scholarship on colonial governmentality." -Alison Bashfor, American Historical Review
"Purifying Empire traces attempts to regulate obscenity in late-nineteenth-and early twentieth-century Britain, Australia, and India, making a convincing case for the importance of culture in destabilizing imperial power." --Victorian Studies

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