Show Less
Restricted access

Disciplining Coolies

An Archival Footprint of Trinidad, 1846

Series:

Amar Wahab

The early years of the East Indian Indentureship system in the Caribbean saw experiments on "coolie" laborers under the British Empire. Colonial Trinidad was one of the main sites for this experiment. This book foregrounds one of the earliest cases (1846) of occupational and physical cruelty against East Indian indentured laborers in Trinidad within this very early period of experimentation. It presents and analyzes the full transcripts of an inquiry concerning the ill-treatment of "coolie" laborers and the severe punishment and death of one laborer, Kunduppa, by a Scottish planter in Trinidad. Drawing on the concepts of discipline, governmentality, and Orientalism, the main argument of the manuscript is that within the early experimental period of Indentureship, the figure of the "coolie" and disciplinary tactics of bodily torture were instrumental to redrafting and stabilizing the colonial governance of contract labor. It also argues that Crown investigations of "coolie" abuse and death became occasions for establishing a new colonial order, in which the disciplinary powers of planters were curbed in the interest of protecting and "caring" for the "coolie" —a discourse that was crucial to re-inventing colonial rule as benevolent. As such, the author’s analysis of colonial violence has crucial implications for critically re-thinking colonial liberalism and its legacies in the present.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Series index

Extract

Studies in Transnationalism

Jatinder Mann, Series Editor

This series is designed to advance the publication of interdisciplinary research in transnationalism from scholars in history, literature, politics, sociology, geography, and related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. The series seeks to publish works that trace the ways in which concepts and ideas are expressed across national borders, focusing on imperialism, globalism, cosmopolitanism, diaspora, and other themes of interest in transnational studies. It embraces both established and innovative methodologies and welcomes submissions in various formats, including monographs, textbooks, colloquia, and reference books.

For additional information about this series or for the submission of manuscripts, please contact:

Peter Lang Publishing Acquisitions Department 29 Broadway, 18th floor New York, NY 10006

To order books in this series, please contact our Customer Service Department:

800-770-LANG (within the U.S.) 212-647-7706 (outside the U.S.) 212-647-7707 FAX

Or browse online by series at:

www.peterlang.com

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.