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Module Reading List

Crime and Punishment in Colonial Southern Asia, 2019/20, Semester 1
Dr Ria Kapoor
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Week 1: Introduction

Tirthankar Roy, 'British Empire. 7. India, to 1858', The encyclopedia of empire (Wiley, 2016), 1-12 .

Tirthankar Roy, 'British Empire. 8. India, from 1858', The encyclopedia of empire (Wiley, 2016), 1-10 .

Philippa Levine, 'Britain in India', The British Empire : sunrise to sunset (Harlow, 2007), 61-82.


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Week 2: Foucault in the Colonies

Michel Foucault, 'The Body of the Condemned', Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (London, 1979), 3-32 .

Martha Kaplan, 'Panopticon in Poona: An Essay on Foucault and Colonialism', Cultural anthropology. , vol. 10, no. 1 (1995), 85-98.


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Week 3: Early Colonial India

Daniel Grey, 'Creating the ‘Problem Hindu’: Sati, Thuggee and Female Infanticide in India, 1800–60', Gender & history. , Vol. 25, No. 3 (2013), 498-510.

Elizabeth Kolsky, Colonial justice in British India : Violence and the Rule of Law (Cambridge, 2010), 27-68 .


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Week 4: Penal Transportation

Anand A Yang, ‘Indian Convict Workers in Southeast Asia in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries’, Journal of World History , Vol. 14, No. 2 (2003), 179-208.

Clare Anderson, '"The Ferringees are Flying - the Ship is Ours!" The Convict Middle Passage in Colonial South and Southeast Asia', Indian Economic & Social History Review , Vol. 42, No. 2 (2005), 143-186.


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Week 5: Prisons

David Arnold, ‘The Colonial Prison: Power, Knowledge and Penology in Nineteenth-Century India’, in David Arnold and David Hardiman (eds), Subaltern studies : writings on South Asian history and society VIII: Essays in Honour of Ranajit Guha , (Delhi, 1994), 148-184.

Abigail McGowen, ‘Convict Carpets: Jails and the Revival of Historic Carpet Design in Colonial India’, The journal of Asian studies. , Vol. 72, No. 2 (2013), 391-416.


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Week 6: Police

Anupama Rao, 'Problems of Violence, States of Terror: Torture in Colonial India', Interventions. , vol. 3, no. 2 (2001), 186-205.

Erin M. Guiliani, ‘Strangers in the Village? Colonial policing in rural Bengal, 1861 to 1892’, Modern Asian studies. , Vol. 49, No. 5 (2015), 1378-1404


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Week 7: Courts

Vinay Lal, ‘ Everyday Crime, Native Mendacity and the Cultural Psychology of Justice in Colonial India’, Studies in History , vol. 15, no. 1 (1999), 145-166.

Elizabeth Kolsky, ‘“The Body Evidencing the Crime”: Rape on Trial in Colonial India, 1860-1947’,  Gender & history. , Vol. 22, No. 1 (2010), 109-130.

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Week 8: Criminal Tribes and Exceptional Crimes

Andrew J Major, 'State and Criminal Tribes in Colonial Punjab: Surveillance, Control and Reclamation of the "Dangerous Classes"', Modern Asian studies. , vol. 33, no. 3 (1999): 657-688.

Mark Condos, ‘Licence to Kill: The Murderous Outrages Act and the rule of law in colonial India, 1867–1925’, Modern Asian studies. , vol. 50, no. 2 (2016), 479-517.


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Week 9: Infanticide and Prostitution

Padma Anagol, 'The Emergence of the Female Criminal in India: Infanticide and Survival Under the Raj', History workshop journal. , vol. 53, no. 1 (2002), 73-93.

Stephen Legg, 'Stimulation, Segregation and Scandal: Geographies of Prostitution Regulation in British India, between Registration (1888) and Suppression (1923)', Modern Asian studies. , Vol. 46, No. 3 (2012), 1459-1505.


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Week 10: White Criminals

Harald Fischer-Tine, 'Hierarchies of Punishment in Colonial India: European Convicts and the Racial Dividend, c.1860-1890', in Harald Fischer-Tine and Susanne Gehermann (eds), Empires and boundaries : rethinking race, class, and gender in colonial settings (New York, 2009), 41-65.

Jordanna Bailkin, ‘The Boot and the Spleen: When Was Murder Possible in British India? ’, Comparative studies in society and history. , Vol. 48, No. 2 (2006), 462-493.


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Week 11: Conclusions

Mark Brown, 'The Politics of Penal Excess and the Echo of Colonial Penality', Punishment & society. , Vol. 4, No. 4 (2002), 403-423.

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Further Readings:



Radhika Singha, A despotism of law : crime and justice in early colonial India (Delhi, 1998).   

Scott Alan Kugle, 'Framed, Blamed and Renamed: The Recasting of Islamic Jurisprudence in Colonial South Asia', Modern Asian studies. , vol. 35, no. 2 (2001), 257-313.

Lisa Giunchi, 'The Reinvention of Sharī‘a Under The British Raj: In Search of Authenticity and Certainty', The journal of Asian studies. , vol. 69, no. 4 (2010), 1119-1142.

John L Comaroff, 'Colonialism, Culture, and the Law: A Foreword', Law and Social Inquiry , vol. 26, no. 2 (2001), 305-314.

Sally Engle Merry, 'Resistance and the Cultural Power of Law', Law & society review. , vol. 29, no. 1 (1995), 11-26.

Lauren Benton, 'Colonial Law and Cultural Difference: Jurisdictional Politics and Formation of Colonial State', Comparative studies in society and history. , vol. 41, no. 3 (1999), 563-588.

Lauren Benton, Law and colonial cultures [electronic resource] : legal regimes in world history, 1400-1900 (Cambridge, 2002).

Martin J. Wiener, An empire on trial : race, murder, and justice under British rule, 1870-1935 (Cambridge, 2009).

Jonathan Saha, 'A Mockery of Justice? Colonial Law, the Everyday State, and Village Politics in the Burma Delta, c.1890-1910', Past & present. , no. 217 (2012), 187-212.

Andrew Huxley, 'Legal Transplants as Historical Data: Exemplum Birmanicum', The journal of imperial and commonwealth history. , Vol. 37, No. 2 (2009), 167-182.

Maitrii Aung-Thwin, The return of the Galon king : history, law, and rebellion in colonial Burma (Athenes, 2011).

Nasser Hussain, The jurisprudence of emergency : colonialism and the rule of law (Ann Arbor, 2003).



Kim A Wagner, ‘The Deconstructed Stranglers: A Reassessment of Thuggee’, Modern Asian studies. , Vol. 38, No. 4 (2004), 931-963.

Radhika Singha, ‘“ Providential” Circumstances: The Thuggee Campaign of the 1830s and Legal Innovation’, Modern Asian studies. , Vol. 27, No. 1 (1993), 83-146.

Parama Roy, 'Discovering India, Imagining Thuggee', Yale journal of criticism. , Vol. 9, No. 1 (1996), 121-145.

Nitin Sinha, 'Mobility, Control and Criminality in Early Colonial India, 1760s-1850s', Indian Economic & Social History Review , vol. 45, no. 1 (2008), 1-33.

Máire Ní Fhlathúin, ‘Staging Criminality and Colonial Authority: The Execution of Thug Criminals in British India’, Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Film , vol. 37, no. 1 (2010), 23-32.

Kim A. Wagner, Thuggee : banditry and the British in early nineteenth-century India (Basingstoke, 2007).

Thomas Lloyd, 'Liminal "Criminals": Rethinking Historiographies of, and through, the "Thuggee" Phenomenon', History compass. , vol. 5, no. 2 (2007), 362-374.


Criminal Tribes

Sandria B Frietag, 'Crime in the Social Order of Colonial Northern India', Modern Asian studies. , Vol. 25, No. 2 (1991), 227-261.

Radhika Singha, 'Punished by Surveillance: Policing 'dangerousness' in colonial India, 1872-1918', Modern Asian studies. , vol. 49, no. 2 (2015), 241-269.

Anastasia Piliavsky, 'The "Criminal Tribe" in India before the British', Comparative studies in society and history. , vol. 57, no. 2 (2015), 323-354.

Meena Radhakrishna, 'The Criminal Tribes Act in Madras Presidency: Implications for itinerant trading communities', Indian Economic & Social History Review , vol. 26, no. 3 (1989), 269-295.

Meena Radhakrishna, Dishonoured by history : criminal tribes and British colonial policy (Hyderabad, 2001).

Rachel J. Tolen, 'Colonizing and Transforming the Criminal Tribesman: The Salvation Army in British India', American Ethnologist , Vol. 18, No. 1 (1991), 106-125.

Mark Brown, 'Ethnology and Colonial Administration in Nineteenth-Century British India: The Question of Native Crime and Criminality', British journal for the history of science. , vol. 36, no. 2 (2003), 201-219



Ania Loomba, 'Dead Women Tell No Tales: Issues of Female Subjectivity, Subaltern Agency and Tradition in Colonial and Post-Colonial Writings on Widow Immolation in India', History workshop. , No. 36 (1993), 209-227.

Anand A. Yang, 'Whose Sati? : Widow Burning in Early 19th Century India', Journal of women's history. , Vol. 1, No. 2 (1989), 8-33.

Andrea Major, Sovereignty and social reform in India : British colonialism and the campaign against sati, 1830-60 (London, 2011).

Andrea Major, Pious flames : European encounters with sati, 1500-1830 (Oxford, 2006)

Lata Mani, 'Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India', Cultural critique. , No. 7 (1987), 119-156.

Clare Midgley, 'Female emancipation in an imperial frame: english women and the campaign against sati (widow-burning) in India, 1813–30', Women's history review. , Vol. 9, No. 1 (2000), 95-121.


Judy Whitehead, 'Bodies Clean and Unclean: Prostitution, Sanitary Legislation, and Respectable Femininity in Colonial North India', Gender & history. , Vol. 7, No. 1 (1995), 41-63.

Philippa Levine, Prostitution, race, and politics : policing veneral disease in the British Empire (New York, 2003).

Philippa Levine, 'Orientalist Sociology and the Creation of Colonial Sexualities', Feminist review. , vol. 65 (2000), 5-21.

Ashwini Tambe, 'Hierarchies of Subalternity: Managed Stratification in Bombay's Brothels, 1914-1930', Ashwini Tambe and Harald Fischer-Tine (eds), The limits of British colonial control in South Asia : spaces of disorder in the Indian Ocean region (London, 2009), 192-207.

Ashwini Tambe, Codes of misconduct : regulating prostitution in late colonial Bombay (Minneapolis, 2009).

Harald Fischer-Tine, '"White Women Degrading Themselves to the Lowest Depths": European Networks of Prostitution and Colonial Anxieties in British India and Ceylon ca. 1880-1914', Indian Economic & Social History Review , vol. 40, no. 2 (2003): 163-190.

Erica Wald, 'From Begums and Bibis to Abandoned Females and Idle Women: Sexual Relationships, Venereal Disease and the Redefinition of Prostitution in Early Nineteenth-Century India', Indian Economic & Social History Review , vol. 46, no. 1 (2009), 5-25.

Sarah Hodges, '"Looting" the Lock Hospital in Colonial Madras during the Famine Years of the 1870s', Social history of medicine. , vol. 18, no. 3 (2005), 379-398.

Steven Legg, Prostitution and the ends of empire : scale, governmentalities, and interwar India (Durham, 2014).


Gendered Crime

Durba Ghosh, ‘Household Crimes and Domestic Order: Keeping the Peace in Colonial Calcutta, c. 1770–c. 1840’,  Modern Asian studies. , Vol. 38, No. 3 (2004), 599-623.

Elizabeth Kolsky, ‘The Rule of Colonial Indifference: Rape on Trial in Early Colonial India, 1805-1857’, The journal of Asian studies. , Vol. 69, No. 4 (2010), 1093-1117.

Jonathan Saha, 'The Male State: Colonialism, Corruption and Rape Investigations in the Irrawaddy Delta c.1900', Indian Economic & Social History Review , vol.47, no. 3 (2010), 343-376.

Ranajit Guha, 'Chandra's Death', Subaltern Studies V (Delhi, 1987), 135-165 .

L. S. Vishwanath, 'Female Infanticide: The Colonial Experience', Economic and political weekly. , Vol. 39, No. 22 (2004), 2313-2318.

Satadru Sen, 'The Savage Family: Colonialism and Female Infanticide in Nineteenth Century India', Journal of women's history. , vol. 14, no. 3 (2002), 53-79.

Radhika Singha, 'Colonial Law and Infrastructural Power: Reconstructing Community, Locating the Female Subject', Studies in History , vol. 19, no. 1 (2003), 87-126

Jordanna Bailkin, 'Making Faces: Tattooed Women and Colonial Regimes', History workshop journal. , vol. 59, no.1 (2005), 33-56.

Jeremy Neill, '“This is a most disgusting case”: Imperial Policy, Class and Gender in the “Rangoon Outrage” of 1899', Journal of colonialism and colonial history. , vol. 12, no. 1 (2011).



Taylor Sherman, 'Tensions of Colonial Punishment: Perspectives on Recent Developments in the Study of Coercive Networks in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean', History compass. , vol. 7, no. 3 (2009), 259-677.

Taylor Sherman, ‘From Hell to Paradise? Voluntary Transfer of Convicts to the Andaman Islands, 1921–1940’, Modern Asian studies. , Vol. 43, No.2 (2009), 367-388.

Taylor Sherman, State violence and punishment in India (London, 2010).

Clare Anderson, The Indian Uprising of 1857-8 : prisons, prisoners, and rebellion (London, 2007).

Clare Anderson, Legible bodies : race, criminality, and colonialism in South Asia (Oxford, 2004).

Clare Anderson, ‘Sepoys, Servants and Settlers: Convict Transportation in the Indian Ocean, 1787-1945’ in Frank Dikotter and Ian Brown (eds.), Cultures of confinement : a history of the prison in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Ithaca, 2007), 185-220

David Arnold and Clare Anderson, ‘Envisioning the Colonial Prison’, in Frank Dikotter and Ian Brown (eds.), Cultures of confinement : a history of the prison in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Ithaca, 2007), 304-331.

David Arnold, ‘India: The Contested Prison’, in Frank Dikotter and Ian Brown (eds.), Cultures of confinement : a history of the prison in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Ithaca, 2007), 147-185 .

Satadru Sen, 'A Separate Punishment: Juvenile Offenders in Colonial India', The journal of Asian studies. , Vol. 63, No. 1 (2004), 81-104.

Satadru Sen, 'The Female Jails of Colonial India', Indian Economic & Social History Review , vol. 39, no. 4 (2002), 417-438.

Satadru Sen, Disciplining punishment : colonialism and convict society in the Andaman Islands (Delhi 2000).

Douglas M Peers, 'Sepoys, Soldiers and the Lash: Race, Caste and Army Discipline in India, 1820-50', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History , vol. 23, no. 2 (1995), 211-247 .

Ian Brown, ‘A Commissioner calls: Alexander Paterson and Colonial Burma’s prisons’, Journal of Southeast Asian studies. , Vol. 38, No. 2 (2007), 293-308.

Anupama Rao and Steven Pierce, 'Discipline and the Other Body: Correction, Corporeality, and Colonial Rule', Interventions. , vol. 3, no. 2 (2001), 159-168.



David A Campion, 'Authority, Accountability and Representation: The United Provinces Police and the Dilemmas of the Colonial Policeman in British India, 1902-1939', Historical research. , vol. 76, 192 (2003), 217-237.

David Arnold, 'Bureaucratic Recruitment and Subordination in Colonial India: The Madras Constabulary, 1859-1947', in David Arnold and Ranajit Guha (eds), Subaltern Studies IV , 1-53 .

Vinod Kumar and Arvind Verma, 'Hegemony, Discipline and Control in the Administration of Police in Colonial India', Asian Journal of Criminology , Vol. 4, No. 1 (2009), 61-78.

David Arnold, 'The Armed Police and Colonial Rule in South India, 1914-1947', Modern Asian studies. , vol. 11, no. 1 (1977), 101-125.

Michael Silvestri, 'The Thrill of "Simply Dressing Up": The Indian Police, Disguise and Intelligence Work in Colonial India', Journal of colonialism and colonial history. , Vol. 2, No. 2 (2001).

Martin Thomas, Violence and colonial order : police, workers and protest in the European colonial empires, 1918-1940 (Cambridge, 2012).

Jonathan Saha, 'Colonization, Criminalization and Complicity: Policing Gambling in Burma, c.1880-1920', South East Asia research. , Vol. 21, No. 4 (2013), 655-672.

Jonathan Saha, Law, disorder and the colonial state : corruption in Burma c.1900 (Basingstoke, 2013).

Edmund Clipson, '‘For Purposes of Political Camouflage’: Intelligence Gathering in Colonial Burma, 1933–35', The journal of imperial and commonwealth history. , Vol. 40, No. 4 (2012), 643-667.

This list was last updated on 03/08/2016