Islam, Women, and Imperial Administration

Encounters and Antagonisms between British and Colonial Authors in the Victorian Press
  • Julie F. Codell
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


The above quote by Çelik assumes several points that have dominated studies of orientalist discourses. One is the dichotomous nature of this discourse between the colonial power and the colonized peoples. Another is that entry of the colonized speaker into this discourse is an entry as ‘Other’, or as an alterity, into the discourse. In this paper I will interrogate and explore these assumptions through several contentious debates between British and Indian authors in the Victorian press. These exchanges defy a simple dichotomy between a ‘valorized culture’ and a valorized alterity; all the Indian authors I will examine claim authority/identity as British, and as ‘native’. Neither British nor ‘other’ is monolithic, and scholars following in the wake of Edward Said’s landmark study have increasingly investigated these interstices and multiplicities to question the identity/alterity dichotomy. Many argue that nations are heterotopias in which identities blend or overlap, crossing the discourse with divergent views and political antagonisms.


Nineteenth Century Native Culture British Reader British Rule British Nation 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Julie F. Codell

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