Gauri Viswanathan. Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India. New York: Columbia UP, pp. $ In his Prison Notebooks Antonio . Masks of Conquest reveals how English studies introduced in India under British rule Professor of English and Comparative Literature Gauri Viswanathan. Gauri Viswanathan is a professor of English & comparative literature at Columbia University. She is the author of “Masks of Conquest: Literary Study & British.

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Viswanathan gives a detailed account of the various debates that influenced the introduction of English literary study in India.

In the last of six central chapters, however, Viswanathan xonquest points out the inherent maskx in the colonial project of creating an educated elite. Sankar Raj rated it really liked it Jan 18, Lists with This Book. Books by Gauri Viswanathan.

Indeed, Viswanathan sometimes professes a greater interest in imperial representatives than in the material conditions that produced their work. Jenn McCollum rated it it was ok Nov 04, Book titles OR Journal titles.

Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India

viseanathan Micheal Rumore rated it really liked it Aug 18, Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. If you would like to authenticate using viswanatthan different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click ‘Authenticate’.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Aside from developing a dissatisfied class that was denied any suitable employment opportunities, the literary curriculum highlighted the problems of a system which advocated both social control and social advancement.


The value of Masks of Conquest viswanatham is its important reminder that educational systems and curriculum developments must be judged in historical perspective. But Viswanathan is often inclined to be overly absorbed by her material, as in Chapter Two, “Preparatio Evangelica,” where she devotes considerable space to a biographical sketch of Alexander Duff. No trivia or quizzes yet.

Neeven Rangasamy rated it it was amazing Sep 02, Refresh and try again.

Kalpana rated it liked it Jul 14, Want conqueet Read saving…. Nan rated it really liked it Jan 07, Subir rated it really liked it Sep 28, Dhanaraj Rajan rated it really liked it Aug 26, Viswanathan’s brief concluding section, “Empire and the Canon,” points out the dangers of reading nineteenth-century educational practice as continuous with contemporary English studies in India. View freely available titles: Barbi rated it liked it Aug 10, This reversal of stance occurred as British officials realized that a religious reading of English literature did not provide Indians with the proper knowledge to join the colonial administrative services.

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Georgia Soares rated it it was amazing Oct 15, She studies the shifts in the curriculum ivswanathan relates such developments to debates over the objectives of English education both among the British administrators, as well as between missionaries and colonial officials.

viswaathan Early in the book Viswanathan clearly vviswanathan that the literary curriculum was introduced in India not to demonstrate the superiority of English culture but to “mask” the economic exploitation of the colonized. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. The author argues that the literary text functioned as a mirror of the ideal Englishman and became a mask of exploitation that camouflaged the material activities of the colonizing British governmen Masks of Conquest reveals how English studies introduced in India under British rule came to be an effective form of political control abetting voluntary cultural assimilation.


All photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Besides, after the Amsks revolt against foreign rule, British officials did not wish to adopt policies that might ignite fears garui conversion among Hindus and Muslims. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Kimi rated it liked it Oct 03, Maurice Ebileeni rated it it was amazing Jan 01, Hardcoverpages. Initially, Indians studied English literature using poetical devices, such as rhyme, alliteration, and reduplication.

Preview — Masks of Conquest by Gauri Viswanathan. Book offers interesting insights on how moral colonialism is propagated through presumptions of intellectual inferiority and gratification; and these intrigues apply at many levels of human social interactions as well. Matthew Hitchman rated it it was conqusst Nov 14, Viswanathan’s intellectual history of British educational practice in India is both a compelling account of the relationship between power and culture and an indictment of the exploitative tendencies of ruling class interests.

Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India by Gauri Viswanathan

Previously, scholars merely studied the transformative effects of British education to understand the historical function of educational policies. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.

In order to resolve this dilemma, colonial officials prescribed English literature, infused with Christian imagery, for government schools.