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Aryans and British India [electronic resource] /
Thomas R. Trautmann.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1997.
description
xiv, 260 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520205464 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1997.
isbn
0520205464 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8482832
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 229-251) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Aryans and British India is a seminal work and will be read and reread by serious students of Indian history for many generations."--Stanley Wolpert, author of India "This is a creative and venturesome rethinking of issues of race, language, and caste in the British colonial understanding of India."--Aram A. Yengoyan, University of California, Davis
Flap Copy
" Aryans and British India is a seminal work and will be read and reread by serious students of Indian history for many generations."--Stanley Wolpert, author of India "This is a creative and venturesome rethinking of issues of race, language, and caste in the British colonial understanding of India."--Aram A. Yengoyan, University of California, Davis
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-10:
Trautmann addresses a deceptively simple question: how did the idea of "Aryanism"--understood as the identification of the Aryans as both the Sanskrit-speaking ancient colonizers of India and as the ancestors of modern Europeans--come about, and how did it affect Oriental scholarship on the one hand and British colonial policy in India on the other? In answering this question, Trautmann takes readers on a fascinating grand tour of European intellectual history, stretching from the introduction of the Aryan idea--first proposed by Sir William Jones in 1786--to its aberrant uses by "racial scientists" of the late 19th and early 20th century. In the process, he discusses how concepts derived from philology, ethnology, biology, and anthropology were affected in Britain by the historical experience of imperial expansion in general, and by the colonization of India in particular. Trautmann's interdisciplinary analysis also conclusively demonstrates that Said's description of Orientalism as nothing more than the intellectual institutionalization of colonialism needs revision. A better understanding of Orientalism may throw new light on the all too current issues of race and nationality, and this study shows how. Upper-division undergraduates and above. E. L. Cerroni-Long; Eastern Michigan University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1997
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Summaries
Long Description
"Aryan," a word that today evokes images of racial hatred and atrocity, was first used by Europeans to suggest bonds of kinship, as Thomas Trautmann shows in his far-reaching history of British Orientalism and the ethnology of India. When the historical relationship uniting Sanskrit with the languages of Europe was discovered, it seemed clear that Indians and Britons belonged to the same family. Thus the Indo-European or Aryan idea, based on the principle of linguistic kinship, dominated British ethnological inquiry. In the nineteenth century, however, an emergent biological "race science" attacked the authority of the Orientalists. The spectacle of a dark-skinned people who were evidently civilized challenged Victorian ideas, and race science responded to the enigma of India by redefining the Aryan concept in narrowly "white" racial terms. By the end of the nineteenth century, race science and Orientalism reached a deep and lasting consensus in regard to India, which Trautmann calls "the racial theory of Indian civilization," and which he undermines with his powerful analysis of colonial ethnology in India. His work of reassessing British Orientalism and the Aryan idea will be of great interest to historians, anthropologists, and cultural critics.
Table of Contents
Illustrations
Preface
Introductionp. 1
The Mosaic Ethnology of Asiatick Jonesp. 28
British Indomaniap. 62
British Indophobiap. 99
Philology and Ethnologyp. 131
Race Science versus Sanskritp. 165
The Racial Theory of Indian Civilizationp. 190
Epiloguep. 217
Referencesp. 229
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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