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Colonial Conversions: Difference, Hierarchy, and History in Early Twentieth-Century Evangelical Propaganda

  • Nicholas Thomas (a1)

Colonial discourse, sometimes referred to in the singular, seems unmanageably vast and heterogeneous, for it must encompass not only the broad field of colonialism's relations and representations which constitutes or arises from the business of official rule, including administrative reports and censuses, but also the works of metropolitan literature and other forms of high culture which deploy images of the exotic or the primitive, paintings of unfamiliar landscapes, tourist guides, anthropological studies, and Oriental fabric designs. Colonial discourse includes chinoiserie, Kim, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Camus' Algerian stories, Frans Post, and Indiana Jones, as well as the Vital Statistics of the Native Population for the Year 1887 and the annual reports from wherever.

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John L. Comaroff , “Images of Empire, Contests of Conscience; Models of Colonial Domination in South Africa,” American Ethnologist, 16:4 (1989), 661685,

Ann L. Stoler , “Rethinking Colonial Categories: European Communities and the Boundaries of Rule,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 31:1 (1989), 134–61,

John Comaroff , “Through the Looking-glass: Colonial Encounters of the First Kind,” Journal of Historical Sociology, 1:1 (1988), 632;

Frederick Cooper and Ann L. Stoler , “Tensions of Empire: Colonial Control and Visions of Rule,” American Ethnologist, 16:4 (1989), 609–21;

Margaret Jolly and Martha Macintyre , eds., Family and Gender in the Pacific: Domestic Contradictions and the Colonial Impact (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989);

N. Thomas , “The Force of Ethnology: Origins and Significance of the Melanesia/Polynesia Division,” Current Anthropology, 30:1 (1989), 2741, 211–3;

Nicholas Thomas , “Complementarity and History: Misrecognizing Gender in the Pacific,” Oceania, 57:4 (1987), 261–70.

Harriet Guest , “The Great Distinction: Figures of the Exotic in the Work of William Hodges,” Oxford Art Journal, 12:2 (1989), 3658;

Margaret Jolly , “The Forgotten Women: A History of Male Migrant Labour and Gender Relations in Vanuatu,” Oceania, 58:2 (1987), 119–39.

George G. Carter , Tie Varane: Stories about People of Courage from Solomon Islands (Rabaul/Auckland: Unichurch Publishing, 1981),

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
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