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Other Landscapes
Colonialism and the Predicament of Authority in Nineteenth-Century South India
by Deborah Sutton
  • Recounts the failed British attempt to transform and govern the cooler uplands of South India.
  • A fascinating story bringing together strands from agrarian, environmental, administrative and cultural history.

Due to the inhospitable climate and vastness of the native population, European settlement of India was never seriously considered apart from in selected upland areas with cooler climates and sparse native populations. One such area was the Nilgiri Hills of South India which, from the early 19th century, saw concerted efforts at European colonization and displacement of the local population as well as an attempt to visualize and recreate an English landscape in the area. Other Landscapes investigates the interfaces between indigenes, European settlers and the colonial state on the Nilgiri Hills, focusing on land disputes, regulation of land sales, regimes of forest management and ethnographic projects of cultural 'preservation'. It examines the landscape as it was configured in the Imperial imagination, explores the corruption and manipulation of local administration and argues that rarely, if ever, did official intent correspond to the systems of reform, regulation and invigilation imposed over the local agrarian landscape.

Published by NIAS Press, NIAS Monographs # 111
January 2008, 272 pages, 20 maps & illustrations
ISBN 978 87 7694 027 0, hardback, 40.00