Berkshire Conference of Women Historians 1
Coordinating Council for Women in History 1
Society for Advancing the History of South Asia 1
Laura Ishiguro interrogates the analytic possibilities and limits of intimacy in writing about white settler families in 19th-century British Columbia. Attending to the dissolution of settler marriages, the maintenance of long-distance relationships, and the silence surrounding mixed-race families, she underscores how these family patterns simultaneously supported and challenged the colonial racial order. Sandy F. Chang explores the formation of mixed-race intimacies as politically charged sites of racial knowledge production in a different context – in British Malaya during the early-twentieth century. Focusing on intimate encounters between Chinese migrant women and Malay men, she argues that these inter-Asian relations exposed the unstable categorical distinctions between “indigene” and “alien” in colonial Southeast Asia. Focusing his gaze on the port cities of Singapore and Penang, Anand Yang examines the “invisible” history of Indian female convicts in the late-18th and 19th centuries. He elucidates their sexual and reproductive roles in the male-dominated penal settlements. Finally, Hardeep Dhillon traces the migration trajectories of Punjabi men to the British dominions and the United States, offering a new interpretation of transnational marriages, sexual deviance, and the contest for rights. Gender as an analytical category, she contends, can unravel the various migration sites where imperial, state, and local power is articulated, legitimized, criticized.