Across the Colonial Divide: Friendship in the British Empire, 1875-1940.

Show simple item record Chung, You-Sun Crystal en_US 2014-06-02T18:15:34Z NO_RESTRICTION en_US 2014-06-02T18:15:34Z 2014 en_US en_US
dc.description.abstract This dissertation explores how “colonial friendship” in the form of collaborations and affinities forged across colonial lines of power and culture within the British Empire signified publicly and privately. Examining three cases in which British men aligned themselves with men of South Asian backgrounds in a period spanning from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century brings into focus a kaleidoscope of meanings—ethical, affective, and professional—marshaled under the conceptual umbrella of friendship. Colonial friendships clearly resonated in the public sphere because those involved were designated differently with regard to the nation and Empire. I explore how individuals understood themselves as “friends” in the context of racial and cultural differences as they played out in such realms as public opinion, the academy, and cosmopolitan circuits of cultural exchange. These relationships were informed by exhortatory notions of guardianship as well as egalitarian aspirations and reflected multi-layered asymmetries—most prominently of race, class, and educational background among others. As such, they serve as a springboard for the central question of this dissertation: what meanings were generated by these friendships and how were they used? This question and a consideration of contexts of public, colonial, and national contestations motivate three case studies. People from various walks of the colonial order invested in elective affinities with those of divergent national, cultural, or racial affiliations, motivated by the perceived advantages of bridging those gaps. On one hand, material exigency often animated the experience of colonial subjection. Aligning oneself with those in more powerful positions might yield such practical advantages such as professional advancement. On the other, for the British, the empire fostered a sense of self invested in enacting liberal universal visions of the world through amical associations such as those examined here. The asymmetries particular to each case, however, resist schematization, as evidenced by how friendship could be used to both justify and challenge the British imperial project. I argue that friendship served as a representative mode of colonial relationality in the British Empire. Both an alternative and complement to liberal paternalism, colonial friendships highlighted the multivalence of the imperial project. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Friendship en_US
dc.subject British Empire en_US
dc.subject Colonialism en_US
dc.title Across the Colonial Divide: Friendship in the British Empire, 1875-1940. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename PHD en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline History and Women's Studies en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Israel, Kali A K en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Pinch, Adela N. en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Puff, Helmut en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Salesa, Damon I. en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel History (General) en_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Humanities en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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