By Bernard S. Cohn
Bernard Cohn's curiosity within the building of Empire as an highbrow and cultural phenomenon has set the schedule for the tutorial research of recent Indian tradition for over twenty years. His previous guides have proven how dramatic British recommendations in India, together with profit and felony platforms, ended in basic structural adjustments in Indian social family members. This choice of his writings within the final fifteen years discusses parts during which the colonial influence has regularly been missed. The essays shape a multifaceted exploration of the ways that the British discovery, assortment, and codification of data approximately Indian society contributed to colonial cultural hegemony and political control.Cohn argues that the British Orientalists' research of Indian languages used to be very important to the colonial venture of regulate and command. He additionally asserts that an enviornment of colonial energy that appeared so much benign and such a lot liable to indigenous influences--mostly law--in truth turned accountable for the institutional reactivation of certainly British notions approximately the right way to control a colonial society made from "others." He exhibits how the very Orientalist mind's eye that ended in terrific antiquarian collections, archaeological reveals, and photographic forays have been in reality types of developing an India that may be larger packaged, inferiorized, and governed. a last essay on textile indicates how outfits were a part of the background of either colonialism and anticolonialism.
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Additional info for Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge
Study of foreign languages will be useful for the study of things, “since their properties are often reﬂected in their names (as can be seen from the names of plants among different nations)” and for the knowledge of the mind and the variety of its operations, but above all it will also be useful for searching out the origins of peoples, through etymologies, which can best be ascertained through language comparison (Leibniz 1981:336–37). By the end of the eighteenth century, as Leibniz predicted, a veritable explosion in the grammar factory had occurred in Europe, by which I mean an impulse to blanket the world in grammars and dictionaries.
In his view, “is involved in a cloud of fables” (Jones 1788d:421). To make good this defect, then, four means could be introduced from outside the national memory, namely, the study of languages and letters, the study of philosophy and religion, study of the remains of old sculpture and architecture, and study of the written texts of the sciences and arts. ” If the method was useful in India, with its long and ancient literary tradition, how much more useful it must be as a way of ﬁnding history in places were there was no writing in which memory could be made fast.
The facility of research is in their hands and in their[s] alone, as it is only by the individuals of this nation that the literature and languages of India whether of primary or secondary importance, can be properly investigated. The peculiar advantages therefore which the English enjoy, render them responsible to the general commonwealth of letters and pledged to all posterity as long as civilized men shall exist in the earth. The fame of some great conquering nations and in particular of the Romans is deeply sullied by their inattention to the literature of the nations they conquered.
Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge by Bernard S. Cohn