Notes on Colonial-Imperial Knowledge Formation

Historiographical notes blogged by a PhD student in New Zealand, S.D. Carpenter:

A number of scholars of British India have sought to understand the ways in which British power was exercised through constructing knowledge about Indian societies, including their histories and literatures, languages and geographies. At one end of the spectrum, intellectual followers of Edward Said argue that the British imposed their own knowledge and cultural forms on India. At the other end, some historians argue that the British had necessarily to work with what they found, relied on local informants, and had to tailor any ‘exotic’ ideas from Britain to different Indian contexts so as to make their rule acceptable.

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Featured image: “Mission station, Rangihoua, 1830,” The Encylopedia of New Zealand, s.v. “Cultural go-betweens” by Mark Derby.

Update, August 31, 2017: The image is no longer included in the entry at https://teara.govt.nz/en/cultural-go-betweens, although other images are.

History of Knowledge Forum in GHI Bulletin

The Fall 2016 issue of the free access GHI Bulletin includes a thematic forum on the history of knowledge with the following three articles:

  • “The History of Knowledge and the Expansion of the Historical Research Agenda” by Simone Lässig
  • “Old and New Orders of Knowledge in Modern Jewish History” by Kerstin von der Krone
  • “Data, Diplomacy, and Liberalism: August Ferdinand Lueder’s Critique of German Descriptive Statistics” by Anna Echterhölter
For more on this image, see p. 30 of Simone Lässig’s article.