New Book | British Women and Cultural Practices of Empire

Posted in books by Editor on April 6, 2018

From Bloomsbury:

Rosie Dias and Kate Smith, eds., British Women and Cultural Practices of Empire, 1770–1940 (London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2018), 256 pages, ISBN: 9781501332173, £90.

Correspondence, travel writing, diary writing, painting, scrapbooking, curating, collecting, and house interiors allowed British women scope to express their responses to imperial sites and experiences in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Taking these productions as its archive, British Women and Cultural Practices of Empire, 1775–1930 includes a collection of essays from different disciplines that consider the role of British women’s cultural practices and productions in conceptualising empire. While such productions have started to receive greater scholarly attention, this volume uses a more self-conscious lens of gender to question whether female cultural work demonstrates that colonial women engaged with the spaces and places of empire in distinctive ways. By working across disciplines, centuries and different colonial geographies, the volume makes an important contribution to the field by demonstrating the diverse ways in which European women shaped constructions of empire in the modern period.

Rosie Dias is Associate Professor in the History of Art, University of Warwick. Kate Smith is Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century History, University of Birmingham.


List of Illustrations

Introduction — Rosie Dias and Kate Smith

Part I | Travel
1  The Travelling Eye: British Women in Early 19th-Century India — David Arnold
2  Paper Trails of Imperial Trav(a)ils: Janet Schaw’s Journal of a Journey from Scotland to the West Indies, North Carolina, and Portugal, 1774–1776 — Viccy Coltman
3  Sketches from the Gendered Frontier: Colonial Women’s Images of Encounters with Aboriginal People in Australia, 1830s–1860s — Caroline Jordan

Part II | Collecting
4  ‘Of Manly Enterprise, and Female Taste!’: Mina Malcolm’s Cottage as Imperial Exhibition, c. 1790s–1970s — Ellen Filor
5  A Lily of the Murray: Cultivating the Colonial Landscape through Album Assemblage — Molly Duggins
6  Collecting the ‘East’: Women Travellers New on the New ‘Grand Tour’ — Amy Miller

Part III | Identities
7  Agents of Affect: Queen Victoria’s Indian Gifts — Rosie Dias
8  ‘Prime Minister in the Home Department’: Female Gendered Identity in 19th-Century Upper Canada — Rosie Spooner
9  Reconstructing the Lives of Professional Women in 1930s Zanzibar through Image, Object, and Text — Sarah Longair


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