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Servants’ Pasts: Late-Eighteenth to Twentieth-Century, South Asia: Vol. 2

Nitin Varma (Editor) Nitin Sinha (Editor)

Contents: Introduction/Nitin Sinha and Nitin Varma. I. Female Domestics and Moral Orders: 1. From Bibis to Ayahs: Sexual Labour, Domestic Labour, and the Moral Politics of Empire/Satyasikha Chakraborty. 2. The Many Lives of Ayah: Life Trajectories of Female Servants in Early Nineteenth-Century India/Nitin Varma. 3. Training a Servant Class: Gender, Poverty and Domestic Labour in Early Nineteenth-Century Educational Sources/Jana Tschurenev. 4. Streamlining Paid Domestic Labour in Postcolonial India: The New Female ‘All-Rounder’ in Master–Servant Expatriate Relationships/Shalini Grover. Interjection 1: Slavery and a History of Domestic Work/Samita Sen. II. Servants In Literary and Public Worlds: 5. Representing Servant Lives in the Household and Beyond/Prabhat Kumar. 6. Servants and Mistresses: Literary and Legal Sketches in Early Twentieth-Century Uttar Pradesh/Charu Gupta. 7. Casteing Servants in Colonial Calcutta/Tanika Sarkar. Interjection 2: Agency and Domestic Workers/Lucy Delap. Bibliography. Notes on the Editors and Contributors. Index. The importance of domestic service as a growing area of occupation and employment in contemporary South Asia is marked by a surprising silence about it in historical scholarship. The second volume of Servants’ Pasts covers the colonial and postcolonial periods. It lays out the intricate relationship between domestic work and employment in light of the growth of first, new moral regimes under colonialism and second, public avenues of employment under colonial institutions such as the municipality, school and hospital. A ‘reformed’ language of intimacy, conjugality and ‘duties’ developed in middle-class households, which impinged on the mistress-servant relationship while a distinct grammar of ‘racialised distancing’ underpinned the relationship between Europeans and Indians. These changes redefined the social and administrative relationships between state and subjects, masters/mistresses and servants, and more broadly, between colonisers and colonised. At the heart of this book is the claim to push for a ‘domestic turn’ in the writing of South Asian social history. The essays explore the making of the site of the domestic at each historical conjuncture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by exploring its interaction with, and plotting its formation through laws, customs, norms and practices. 

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Bibliographic information

Title Servants’ Pasts: Late-Eighteenth to Twentieth-Century, South Asia: Vol. 2
Format Hardcover
Date published: 04.11.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789352876945
length 340p., Figs, Tables.
Subjects History