ISBN is

9781859738559 / 1859738559

Legible Bodies: Race, Criminality and Colonialism in South Asia

by

Publisher:Berg Publishers

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

From the late eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, the British incarcerated tens of thousands of prisoners in South Asian jails and transported tens of thousands of convicts to penal settlements overseas in South East Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Islands. British penal administrators created a series of elaborate mechanisms to render "criminal bodies" legible. They introduced visual tags, for example tattoos, to identify prisoners and convicts, seeking to mark and/or read them both as individuals and as members of broader penal categories. Legible Bodies explores the treatment of these "native criminals" for the whole period of colonial control. Through a careful reading of their "legible bodies," the author uncovers new material on race and ethnicity that provides a previously unseen perspective on colonial history.

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