Journal of Historical Geography, 29, 2 (2003) 277±288


Review article

Colonial and postcolonial geographies
CATHERINE HALL, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination (Cambridge: Polity, 2002. Pp. xviii ‡ 556. £19.99 paperback)

Introduction: metropole and colony
In this article, I want to at least try to do justice to a remarkable book by Catherine Hall, but I also want to range beyond its particular concerns to see how they intersect with, and perhaps help us re-envision, broader geographies of colonial and postcolonial cultural formations.[1] Since the publication of her White, Male and Middle Class in 1992, Catherine Hall has been elaborating a `new imperial history'.[2] Two features in particular make Hall's work different from `traditional' imperial history.[3] The ®rst is her teasing out of the ways in which discourses of national identity, gender, sexuality, race and the family were all mutually constitutive. The second feature renders her work a departure not only from traditional imperial history, but also from a contemporary geography often more interested in its own disciplinary associations with imperialism than in the geographies of colonialism. This is a focus on the material and discursive connections between colonised and metropolitan spaces. It is this focus that allows us to consider the ways in which different cultures in the colonies and within Britain were co-constituted. Although a number of scholars have advocated postcolonial histories and geographies that decentre Europe by writing its history ``from and for the margins'',[4] few have actually researched colonial margins and European metropoles in equal depth. Many have claimed that their postcolonial analyses unsettle binaries between metropole and colony, or centre and periphery, but such claims have rarely been substantiated with sustained and detailed empirical investigations of the wide-ranging transactions between sites so categorised.[5] While many geographers working in and on the former colonial `margins' contribute a great deal to the analysis of local and regional histories, and are very well aware of the impact on those histories of metropolitan intervention,[6] few have examined the reciprocal links between local and metropolitan developments.[7] By the same token, among `metropolitan' geographers, there has been a general preference for focusing on European understandings of what was occurring in colonies, rather than what was taking place within speci®c colonies themselves. As a result, and as Daniel Clayton points out, much of our work has ``remained stuck in a nation-centred and Eurocentric mould''.[8] Hall's research though, tells us as much about Jamaica and Jamaicans as it does about Britain and Britons. It demonstrates more fully how the histories of at least one `periphery' and one `centre' have been mutually constructed. In this book, Hall moves across the ®xed categories of colony and metropole by holding in tension, on the one hand, a tightly focused `case study' of multiple and 277

in Anthony Trollope's account of Jamaica. This is an interest in the uneven geographies of `truth' that are built when places and people become connected. she locates such `messy' discursive twists and turns within and between differentiated sites dispersed across a trans-imperial terrain. 221). that distance which legitimated colonial rule'' (p. More particularly though. ``ambivalence regarding the mimicry which he observed both among creolised Africans and planters. When her gaze is on metropolitan space (as it is predominantly in the second half of the book). 10). and then by those who corresponded about these events at one remove in Birmingham. were affected by. Hall's own `way of thinking' about Jamaica and Britain.[11] If metropole and colony were articulated by transactions of commodities. Europe was only Europe because of that other world: Jamaica was one domain of the constitutive outside of England (p. on the other hand. cross-cutting ways of thinking'' (p. inside not outside. `Race' As with her earlier research. this imperative for distanciation was always in tension with the other imperative of imperial connection: Jamaican commodities. space and place. she focuses on the ways in which the `midland metropolis' of Birmingham. ®rst by those `on the scene' in Jamaica.[10] For example. Her analysis of the tremendously popular and in¯uential writings of Thomas CarlyleÐwritings which played a signi®cant role in undermining humanitarian claims for universalismÐfor instance. touches repeatedly upon a particular concern recently highlighted by a number of cultural and historical geographers. and on the other hand. in this book Hall is especially concerned with the ways that `truths' about `race' intersected with. shows an awareness of elements of . marked the distance between the domestic and the colonial. Hall's detailed exploration of the way that speci®c events. ``in determining the `truth' of a particular set of events in a speci®c locality''. they were also linked within an imperial regime of truth. places could only be managed as colonies through their connections with the metropole. from the quotidian interactions of missionaries and members of their `¯ock' to the explosive violence of the Morant Bay revolt were given credence differentially. the `gap'. Jamaican family connections. raising the question as to what was here and what was there. highlights how scale and distance. matter. Jamaican property in enslaved people. a broader set of colonial and British linkages which encompassed and helped to constitute those transactions. and helped to inform. but one that was subject to spatial disjunctures as well as continuities. money.[12] This insight is one to which I will periodically return throughout this article. was still ``imbricated with the culture of empire''. On the one hand. and in doing so. threatening dissolution of the gap on which the distinction between colony and metropole was constructed. although not a town usually described as imperial in the sense that London or Glasgow could be.278 REVIEW ARTICLE bi-directional transactions between men and women in Jamaica and Birmingham and. they were part of the fabric of England. between the two spaces. Yet. I would suggest. There had to be distanceÐboth conceptual and physicalÐbetween colony and metropole if metropolitan identity was to be framed in relation to an Other constructed as peripheral. both aspiring and failing in their different ways to be English. It is because of this continual slippage between `inside' and the `outside' of the metropolitan nation. did not stay conveniently over there. as Jane Jacobs puts it. sexual and gender difference. that Hall shares the desire of many postcolonial scholars to destabilise the discursive binaries that were and are constructed between metropole and colony. metropolitan identity and power was dependent on maintaining the difference. 12). Hall works consistently around a central paradox of metropolitan±colonial relations. 16).[9] Through her `case study'. discourses of national. in favour of ``more elaborate. class. she shows ``how race [as well as class and gender] was lived at the local level'' (p. information and ideas and yet separated by a `rule of difference'.

It was much harder for missionaries and anti-slavery activists to distinguish the innate characteristics of blackness from those of Africanness (and. irregularity. nor that they were unconnected with readings of Englishness. and concubinage a completely accepted form. though. For the anti-slavery movement. This tracking involves an awareness of the shaping of `whiteness' and its varying con¯ation with Englishness and Britishness. and white was not always right within metropolitan±colonial imaginaries.[13] Abolitionists and humanitarians felt that the behaviour of planters in Jamaica. this particular formulation of the link between Englishness. this is not to say that readings of blackness and Africanness would remain static. Underlying it. those who claimed to be Englishmen ``were savages. licentious sexuality. an exception from the norm.[14] However. as much as it does `blackness' and its varying con¯ation with `Africanness'. the aftermath of the emancipation of slaves in Britain's empire was a critical moment in its reformulation: ``Where once visitors had gone to Jamaica to see and report on slavery. David Lambert has this spatialised inversion of the moral ranking of races in mind when he writes of the West Indies being turned into `aberrant spaces' within anti-slavery discourse. he saw ``the eminent philanthropists Sharpe. By the 1860s. tropicality). masculinity and blackness had changed. she tracks some of the personnel. rather than any inherent ¯aw in the English character (p. deeply committed to the notion of the ordered Christian household as prototype of the family in Heaven. Hall is not content simply to claim that at certain times and in certain circumstances. the media and the more speci®c ideas involved in that labour. and especially Jamaican spaces. 137). Such travelers assumed the right to re¯ect on `the African': for the `nature' of the race was at the heart of the argument over whether or not black people were equipped for the status of citizens'' (p. 112). this was profanity indeed'' (pp. as we will see below. English and British people were contested within colonial discourse just as much as were the characteristics of black people and Africans. The de®ning characteristics of white. when James Phillippo published an ``anti-slavery version of English history''. from the apotheosis of humanitarianism in the early nineteenth century through to the inscription of biologically determinist notions in the 1860s. which accepted and publicised ``the shame of the slave trade''. even within humanitarian thinking. 185). particular readings of `race' became hegemonic. Clarkson and Wilberforce'' as having redeemed their nation and their race's honour. they offered instead a model of disorder. children. respectable English middle-class men supported the anti-slavery movement and emancipation. To be a supporter of the weak and dependentÐwomen. It was through such traf®c between colonial and metropolitan sites that continual attempts were made to ``stabilise the ®eld'' of racial discourse in Britain and its empire (p. than it was to delineate between whiteness and Englishness. Missionaries believed that the `order of civilization' in the West Indies `had been turned upside down'. illegitimacy. ``In the 1830s. of course. precisely thatÐa straying from the path. Thus. 27). Condemnation of certain Britons could thus be ``combined with the notion of a `British lion' ever ready to take up the cause of freedom''. As Hall makes clear. Of course. and as Hall's book reinforces. although it left them within the category of `white'. disquali®ed them from being considered properly `English': ``far from the `higher orders' providing a model for a proper bourgeois life. but also of those traces which derived from colonial. and which described the slaver Sir John Hawkins as being ``the ®rst Englishman who thus dishonoured himself and his country''. there was always a ``deep rooted [assumption] about white civilisation which worked on the premise that the corruption of some white people could be redeemed by the action of others'' (p. 73±74). now it was emancipation.[15] By the . As David Brion DavisÐamong othersÐhas shown. such a conception of white/English aberration was.REVIEW ARTICLE 279 his thought that were premised upon his metropolitan situation. It was ``the disarticulation between whiteness and Englishness which had ruined white Jamaican society''. and the enslaved and missionaries were their victims'' (p. with coloured mistresses kept openly. 440). 222). enslaved people and animalsÐ constituted a part of the `independence' of middle-class masculinity'' (p. formed in the crucible of the evangelical revival.

Thus ``the perfect negro man'' in the abolitionist vision.280 REVIEW ARTICLE 1860s. Abolitionist visions themselves. to a greater or lesser extent. beginning with her prologue on Edward Eyre's personal journey through the Empire and continuing with her close examination of relations between ®gures in Jamaica and Britain. in ways that can only inspire geographers. characteristics more frequently associated with femininity in England. particularly within Birmingham. ``A structure of feeling dominated by the familial trope and a paternalist rhetoric had been displaced by a harsher racial vocabulary of ®xed differences. the biological and the cultural. and. 27). biological essentialism was. prepared the way for alternative discourses of racial difference to challenge the hedged universalism of the missionaries. the furniture and its arrangement within them. Such a degree of prescription was always going to be ``a dream which fragmented as the missionaries came to realise. Such ®ssures and disputes occasionally led to violence against the property and persons of the white missionaries who had imagined themselves father ®gures for their `¯ock'. Hall's great contribution to our understanding of this shift in racial discourse during the mid-nineteenth century. Such dissonance and disillusionment. and thus could not expect the same rights. she demonstrates through her detailed readings of these local disputes the ways in which the exercise of black people's agency complicated missionary understandings of black infantilism. George Dawson. prescriptive and patronising missionary dream. Every facet of their daily lives was to be modelled on a British bourgeois ideal. and marking the distinction between white and black manhood'' (p. in the ascendant. 21). British subjects across the Empire were not all the same'' (p. how the geographies of connection between different people and places counted in the formulation and reformulation of discourse and practice at any one site. including. was demonstrated above all by black pastors breaking away from the authority of white missionaries. British missionaries sought to prescribe every aspect of emancipated black people's behaviour. While Hall remains focused largely on the `internal' discussions of white Britons about such events. that they could not control the destinies of others. often in the face of vehement opposition form white missionaries. The failure to control black bodies and minds. the composition of their family. and race occupied a different place in the English common sense'' (p. different from whites. The very nature. the number and size of rooms in their houses. Because they had refused to live out the ethnocentric. In the constant play between racism's two logics. that were dominant. and permissable decorations (see p. gathering their own followings and appropriating the message of the Bible (or even dispensing with it altogether). 134). . contained the seeds of their own disillusionment and prepared the way for the triumph of biological determinism in the latter part of the nineteenth century. for the moment. both in Jamaica and in Britain. 189). is to illustrate ``how racial thinking was made and re-made across the span of colony and metropole'' and through the agency of both `white' and `black' people engaging within and across this span (p. debates over the ®tness of the African for freedom were beginning to crystallise into a new consensus. for instance. generated vitriolic debates among missionaries more or less sympathetic to black aspirations. She shows. 440). As ever in Hall's work. or indeed of themselves'' (p. the notions of femininity and masculinity as well as Englishness with which such racialised visions were bound up. ``[a] considerable body of opinion had concluded that black people were. would combine ``the independence which was so central to an English conception of manhood with patience and submission. and disrupted consensual missionary dreams. As Hall's book documents in a wealth of detail. depth and extent of missionary expectation made the ful®lment of their dreams on behalf of black people an impossibility. 25). It gave new recruits. even within the missionary community. are teased out. to the vision of irredeemable racial inequality propagated by ®gures such as Carlyle. essentially. By the mid 1860s it was their differentiated narratives of irredeemable racial difference and the proper constitution of Englishness in relation to it. constructed in part to challenge more racially deterministic planter discourses. of course.

even if at a more local scale than most analysts. institutions such as missionary and anti-slavery societies and lecturing.[23] Furthermore. when we trace the discursive and material connections that colonising subjects maintained with those in the government of®ces. lectured in Brimingham during the 1840s on the links between the hotly debated nationalist movements in Europe and the right of Britain to govern colonies further a®eld. but articulated understandings of such relations that were forged in metropolitan and. but also the very different.[21] Through her detailed examination of understandings of Jamaica and the wider empire in Birmingham. he argued.[17] What this means for any study of metropolitan±colonial connections is that we have to take on board not only the complicated. messy. Some of this work has focused on cultures of exploration and travel.[16] What Hall's work shows is that it is not so much the scale of one's analysis which results in such different truths about colonial encounters and practices. 365).[19] Some has looked at imperial knowledge in the media of popular entertainment and schooling. for instance. In tracing such discursive connections. military headquarters. they circumscribed. `native' knowledges and practices were immediate and inescapable. contested and transformed colonial projects. Nationalism was leading to the reconstruction of Europe on racial lines. the focus has been largely on the production of representation. In fact. the dif®culty of obtaining evidence about `ordinary' individuals' world views means that Hall herself writes at least as much about the production of voices and images of empire as she does about their consumption. delimited. informed. George Dawson. and especially Birmingham.[18] Even if they haven't engaged much with the circuits supplying and translating colonial knowledges and truths to Britain. intersubjective relations of colonialism in a particular spot. But while the weight of her analysis is still centred on the images conveyed through such media. Hall herself endeavours to understand the ways in which the `cacophony' of different voices speaking about empire was consumed and interpreted among differently situated members of `the public'. but which have since been compartmentalised by historical scholarship.REVIEW ARTICLE 281 Geographical truths and metropolitan knowledges As I indicated above. preoccupations. indeed. public meetings and correspondence between family and friends in the colonies and in Birmingham.[22] The sources of production that Hall examines include local newspapers and journals. boardrooms. other colonial spaces. the expansion of the Anglo-Saxon race into the lands of other races who were less ®tted than Europeans for survival (p. and this was a development connected to. Hall is able to tap at least some sources of evidence relating to popular understandings of them. engaged in the pursuit of various colonizing projects. And yet. 292±293). different knowledges were shapedÐones in which `native agency' was often reduced to a single dimension or erased entirely. missionary institutions and homes of metropolitan space. Hall has done more than most to connect discussions of race and empire with other contemporary metropolitan. literary and philosophical societies. it is more the different forms that knowledge and truth take on as they travel across distance and between agents with particular horizons and agendas in differently constituted places. and in its postcolonial implications. however. the theatre. public exhibitions. and just as natural as. not least through the records of a debating society based in a Birmingham pub. Hall illuminates a particular metropolitan place and time in its own right. Hall's reading of such understandings is also usefully informed by a conception of the `public sphere' which is more gendered and differentiated than Habermas's original formulation (see pp.[20] As Hall points out in relation to research on metropolitan images of empire in general. a number of geographers have recently been concerned with the constitution of metropolitan imaginations of the colonial world in the nineteenth century. accommodation and resistance. Through complicity. as well as highlighting its connections with Jamaica and . colonial knowledges and truths were different depending on where subjects were situated within imperial networks. not the least of which was personal security. which were obvious to commentators at the time. For colonial agents `on the ground'.

for instance. and when representations of each colonial environment and its population were contested by so many different interests. 175). As the extract indicates. as infants'' (p. Both metropolitan and emigrant colonial Britons were supplied with a vast array of images from around to globe with which to construct their characterisation of other people and landscapes. seemed to feel that the extraction of enslaved people from Africa was necessary in order to distance them from the retarding in¯uence of a primeval environment. Difference was domesticated. Hall establishes that even abolitionists came close to the planters' assertion that the middle passage had in some way prepared Africans for civilisation. too. emancipation offered the key which allowed black men and women the possibility of entry into modernity. which is increasingly coming to the attention of historical and cultural geographers. as well as addressing the more universalising narratives that contained both within the same episteme. Anthony Trollope. In tracing the connections that missionaries imagined enslaved people had with Africa. East and West and postcolonial theory Hall sets herself the task of answering certain questions in particular about metropolitan knowledge: ``how was Jamaica produced for England. Canada and the West Indies' and later. William Brock speaking at a Baptist Missionary Society . continental and global network of contacts. As Hall writes: His mapping of imperial places and peoples. Through her study of geographical imaginations of this particular colonial space. Australia and other sites were regarded so differently. She has shown. There could be no such thing as a single metropolitan geographical imagination of empire. for instance. Not the least in¯uential of the `travelling eyes' which contested missionary stories belonged to Anthony Trollope. brought Maori `cannibals'.282 REVIEW ARTICLE the wider world. the West Indies. On the one hand. provincial identities were de®ned in relation to a far more extensive national. Hall's work gestures towards the great differences between British visions of the East and West Indies. she exhorts us to pay more attention to the very different ways in which various places and people of empire were constructed and imagined. this is by no means to the exclusion of other sites. abolitionists shared with the pro-slavery lobby a certain discourse of `tropicality'. and increasingly being distinguished from the more notorious discourse of Orientalism. Abolitionist missionaries. 211). while Hall is especially concerned with images of Jamaica.[24] However. once in the Caribbean. Jamiacan `Quashees' and energetic white Australian settlers right into the parlour. Aside from its attention to Africa. Hall discusses missionary attempts to send white and black Jamaican preachers `back to Africa' to spread the post-emancipation message of Christianity and civilisation within the `dark continent'. archaic African time or the pre-modern time of slavery. Bound up with. they could enter the present. Abolitionists were far from seeing slavery as the way to assist Africans in overcoming the traits of animality associated with tropicality: ``For the abolitionists. when India. we have the Rev. In this way. in ways familiar to many historical geographers. of course. The sites of empire were represented by the quintessential English goodfellow. was a set of equally contested images of Africa. and yet different from British imaginations of the West Indies. for here was a favourite ®ctional writer transporting them to Australia. who sold narratives about imperial spaces by the bucket load during the mid-nineteenth century. speci®cally in the anti-slavery narratives of the 1830s and 1840s? What was the imagined geography of the abolitionist? How was the `travelling eye' riveted to the missionary endeavour? And what happened when the traveller's tale was mapped on to the missionary story?'' (p. no longer locked in another time. how local. abolitionists and planters disagreed over the proper route to Africans' civilisation. 186). in ways that English readers could take great pleasure in. South Africa too (p. utilising familiar language and images. and F F F The English were reassured that it was their country's right to civilise.

in which the `native'. is imagined as ``never modern''. the abolition of infanticide and `suttee'. The intention to tell broader stories through the life . though. In the settler colonial spaces of Australia and North America. shared the `not yet' form of colonial governmentality. their quarrel was with `ancient' indigenous practices and beliefs. in which the ``breaking up of caste. located in the `reserve'. as Dan Clayton has argued.REVIEW ARTICLE 283 Jubilee celebration in 1842. but had never quite yet learned the responsibilities of. he asks. 336). But this does not mean that we should overlook humanitarians' more oppositional. His longstanding interest in a localised set of historical circumstances in British Columbia leads him to identify both the potential and the limits of a body of contemporary postcolonial theory emanating ®rst from Palestinian (Said) and then Indian (Bhabha and Spivak) conditions. is situated. about the ways that the postcolonial commitment to difference and multiplicity is in itself a universalising agendaÐone which erases the different postcolonial predicaments of subjects in particular parts of Asia. In the West Indies. self-government.[26] Postcolonialism tells us that all knowledge. during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.[28] The ®nal way in which she does so. very different postcolonial afterlife. but through such considerations Clayton has attempted to draw attention to the ways in which postcolonial theory itself has been conditioned by its places of formation. humanitarians' main quarrel was with white slaveholders. is through her narratives of personal transition. This was a colonial discourse that the subaltern studies group in particular has discussed. and their support was lent to any attempt to eradicate such practices and beliefs through Christianisation (p. and the last to which I want to draw particular attention. 307). North and South America. and I would suggest that Hall has contributed to this agenda in various ways. the translation of the Bible and the annihilation of slavery'' were con¯ated achievements (p. Africa and Australasia? The personal and the political: life histories and life geographies As we have seen. whereas in India at the same time. along with parts of Africa in the late-nineteenth century. it is not surprising that many postcolonial theorists have seen humanitarianism's main function as providing legitimation for broader colonial assaults on indigenous culture and the erasure of subaltern agency. It is statements such as these that render colonial discourse such a universalising phenomenon and mean that it cannot be studied though `grounded' analyses of particular places at particular times alone. rendering grand theorisation about colonial discourse in isolation of more `grounded' studies equally problematic. aboriginal people experienced a `never at all' mode of governmentality which.[25] By the same token. and condemnation of. but also within settler colonies. in which indigenous peoples were apparently perpetually being trained for. India. practices such as sati (the relatively restricted practice of a Hindu widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre). colonial governmentality and its postcolonial afterlife varied and do vary between India and other spaces less intensively theorised by postcolonial scholars. In the light of exaggerated humanitarian reporting on. and they took the side of enslaved black people. has its own. and particularly that universalising knowledge produced by Europe in the era of imperialism. ``relocating western narratives of progress in their wider colonial histories and rethinking the `centre' by resituating it in its complex web of colonial interconnections'' lies at the heart of a contemporary postcolonial scholarly agenda. But such statements co-existed with very different pronouncements and agendas within and about each of these places. and not only in slave-based societies. We can take the tensions between evangelical humanitarian discourse's universalising and particular interventions in the `East' and the `West' as a case in point. Independence involved an assertive claim of readiness that imperial governments could no longer resist. of the ways in which `East' and `West' had been united by British missionaries in ``one great social family''.[27] Should we not wonder. differentially implicated stance within colonial discourse elsewhere.

in forms of aggression and hostility'' (p. ``identities were ruptured. her feminist political and social circle and her relationship with Stuart Hall. their stories'' (p. differentiated and ambiguous local stories''. and the political implications of complex. where a `cast' of 20 `characters' is established. and an aggrieved Sturge called for him to be sent back to Jamaica before he could do too much damage to the cause in England. untidy. Hall's intention to treat individual personalities and trajectories seriously within a broader narrative focused on shifting discourses. Public metropolitan time was cross-cut with public colonial time. Sturge had paid for Williams to travel from Jamaica to England to publicise the horrors of the apprenticeship system. While statements of the author's `positionality' have. on occasion. and particular and local. 321). for women whose lives similarly connected Birmingham and Jamaica. ``when James Williams proved to be something other than [Sturge] had imagined him to be. it will be obvious that I see Catherine Hall's book as exemplary in tackling this agenda. Her introduction is an evocation of the personal and the political genesis of her research agenda. it yields insight into the plotting of the ensuing narrative around questions of universalism and difference that have occupied Hall's imagination. between the critical engagement with a grand narrative of colonialism. private time. diasporic''. demonstrates more powerfully than any impersonal narrative could.[29] For `imperial men' such as Eyre. and told. of course. indigenous. For men such as William Knibb and James Phillippo and. This is not. together with the many other stories of men and women who connected metropole and colony in their own particular ways in this book. which together prompted her ®rst meaningful re¯ections on the constructs of gender and `race'.[30] By now. It serves as a precursor to the ways that the nineteenth century lives of her subjects are envisioned as being both private and enmeshed in broader public and political discourses. and it highlights the postcolonial afterlife of the exchanges that she traces throughout the book. indeed constituted. dealing with her Baptist family background. Sturge's disappointment was tangible. those stories informed. emigration. how the humanitarian ``attempt to constitute black men. Hall's introduction is far more than a gesture. the story of personal disillusionment that Joseph Sturge had to tell about the formerly enslaved James Williams was one strand in a web of similar stories that made Carlyle's and Trollope's thinking on `race' seem `sensible' to many readers. 65). and out of which they made. One could . the aggregated discursive shifts of which more impersonal histories are made. It was these cross-cutting patterns which constituted `imperial men'. and on the connections between Britain and Jamaica. new homes and death. Hall shows how speci®c experiences of colonialism shapedÐas Catherine Nash has put itÐ``different modes of belonging. Conclusion Catherine Nash has recently suggested that ``postcolonial geographies work through the tension between understanding colonialism as general and global. settler. to say that the book is without limitation. Paternalism had its other side. as far as sources allow. women and children F F F was doomed to failure. For example. both were cross-cut again by familial time. the time of birth. each of whose biographical details are sketched. her experiences of living in a town associated with missionary enterprise and abolitionism in Jamaica. it enables us to access the very intimate ways in which global cartographies of connection can be lived. transnational. The story of Sturge's and Williams's encounter. changed and differently articulated by place. is signalled at the start of the book. place and identityÐnational. for it depended on stereotypes which could never grasp the full complexity or agency of other human beings'' (p. Hall claims. but Williams indulged more in the recreational opportunities afforded by his visit than Sturge had anticipated. marriage. As Hall notes. 321). become something of a trite `postcolonial' formula to establish the writer's politically correct credentials. In turn.284 REVIEW ARTICLE experiences of individuals is signaled right from the start of the book as Hall locates the constitution of her own subjectivity within a set of trans-national exchanges.

on the other hand. Postcolonial Geographies (London forthcoming). practices and agendas. amply documents the disruption that black agency caused within humanitarian narratives of civilisation.[33] With its emphasis on the connected but situated histories of distant places and cultures. Notes [1] For recent studies of such geographies. those whose representations are obscured in the historical record. the global and the local. are rare. culture and the `postcolonial turn' in geography. but it does not (and. as Jane Jacobs notes. but. often end up resorting to the use of ethnographies in which the pre-colonial past is ¯attened and rendered timeless. attempting to listen to. Islands of Truth: The Imperial Fashioning of Vancouver Island (Vancouver 2000) and Colonialism. This is a question about the dif®culty of. signalled by the 1836±1837 Select Committee on Aborigines. N.[31] Attempts to incorporate pre-contact `native' knowledges. More importantly. Jane Jacobs. probably could not) aim to extend to an account of the broader histories of black Jamaican experience. and its sophisticated interweaving of detailed life histories and broader discourse analysis.[32] Hall's book itself. What Hall's book does do is exactly what Jane Jacobs has recently praised Dan Clayton's work for doing: it connects the local tactics of missionaries and their enemies in Jamaica ``with the global geopolitics of nation and empire'' and ``offers a template for geographers who wish to construct multiscaled geographies that properly account for the complex articulations of place and space.REVIEW ARTICLE 285 criticise. University of Sussex ALAN LESTER Acknowledgements My thinking about this review has been greatly assisted through discussions with Dan Clayton and by a reading of inspirational unpublished writings with which he kindly supplied me. Schein (Eds). This question in particular is. one could also question how much this book tells us about `subaltern' black Jamaicans' experiences of the British colonial discourses on which the book focuses. as we have seen. Cultural geography: postcolonial cultural . Hall's research as a whole. on the one hand. in J. one that has exercised a number of postcolonial geographers. Daniel Clayton. the past and the present''. Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City (London 1996). examples of its overcoming. of course. the here and the there. has much to say to historical and cultural geographers. for instance. the exercise of indigenous agency is often restricted to male elites such as chiefs and headmen. and about their `lived' effects. James Duncan. Even where oral histories are drawn upon and where a deliberate attempt is made to historicise and spatialise our accounts of precolonial and indigenous societies under colonialism. gendered and above all racialised subject positions in and between these places. see Alison Blunt and Cheryl McEwan (Eds). its tracing of classed. and a yet larger book. But a full consideration of this would necessitate yet more contextualisation of the links between Jamaica and Britain. for example. Hall's relative lack of attention to the post-emancipation `globalization' of humanitarian intervention. Catherine Nash. Not all black Jamaicans expressed their agency through the breakaway church factions that are documented in Hall's book. avoiding speaking for but. its attention to the means by which particular geographical imaginations were constructed `at home' and in the colonies. Johnson and R. Thus narratives of changeÐor `real' historyÐtend to begin yet again with the intrusion and agency of Europeans. Historical Geography 27 (1999) 119±128. given its already substantial length. even in the broader literature on colonial contact and discourse. A Companion to Cultural Geography (Oxford forthcoming). and this book in particular. Complicity and resistance in the colonial archive: some issues of method and theory in historical geography. and the contestation with other colonial interests to which it gave rise. Duncan.

Georgian geographies `from and for the margins': `King George men' on the northwest coast of North America. J. Imperial Cities: Landscape. Travel. Globalisation from below: BirminghamÐpostcolonial workshop of the world? Area 34 (2002) 117±127. experiencing the recon®guration of the transnational relations identi®ed in Hall's work. in Fred Cooper and Anne Stoler (Eds). for instance. see reviews of Clayton's Islands of Truth by Jane Jacobs. Institute of British Geographers 22 (1994) 450±472. Progress in Human Geography 26 (2002) 219±230. New Left Review 208 (1994) 3±29. Karen Morin and Lawrence Berg. Journal of Southern African Studies 21 (1995) 39±61 and Jennifer Robinson. Catherine Hall. Between metropole and colony: rethinking a research agenda. see N. Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (Berkeley and London 1997) 4). If there have been relatively few inEdepth studies of metropole and colony within a `single analytical ®eld' (the phrase. Susan Parnell and Jennifer Robinson on the circulation and mutual reformulation of urban planning discourses. Journal of Historical Geography 27 (2001) 196±222 and James Sidaway. Exceptions might include Clayton. David Lambert. The Power of Apartheid: State. empires and the postEcolonial moment. Edge of Empire. Dipesh Chakrabarty. The PostEColonial Question: Common Skies. elsewhere. Gerry Kearns. Hall (Ed. Progress in Human Geography 24 (2000) 591±612. For the constitution of cities more conventionally associated with empire. See also her Rethinking imperial histories: the Reform Act of 1867. the networked approach of which itself has helped to inform Hall's vision. but perhaps it is not such a great concern for those engaged in more immediate tasks. Cheryl McEwan. Sara Mills and Lawrence Berg. in Miles Ogborn and Charles Withers (Eds). Curti (Eds). Display and Identity (Manchester 1999). One thinks. See Susan Parnell and Alan Mabin. Gender.286 REVIEW ARTICLE geographies. Henry. Daniel Clayton. and Clayton's response. Journal of Historical Geography 28 (2002) 216±236. of A. often through the embodied medium of the imperial traveller him or herself. The Master Subject: White Identities and the Slavery Controversy in Barbados. See for example. Place and Landscape in the Eighteenth Century (Manchester forthcoming). 1823± 1825. Alison Blunt. in C. University of Cambridge 2002) and Lester. Christopher in South Africa or Cole Harris in British Columbia. True lovers of religion: Methodist persecution and white resistance to antiEslavery in Barbados. Georgian Geographies: Space. Gender and Imperialism: Mary Kingsley and West Africa (London and New York 1994). `Decentring the West' may be a concern for many scholars in the West. C. Pollard. either within or outside of geography. It is worth pointing out however. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton 2000) 16. Imperial Networks: Creating Identities in Nineteenth Century South Africa and Britain (London 2001). in I. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] . Chambers and L. Imperial Networks. Postcolonial geographies: an exploratory essay. there has certainly been substantial interest among cultural and historical geographers in how particular constructions of race. Geography and Empire: Victorian Women Travellers in West Africa (London 2000). is from Anne Stoler and Fred Cooper. McEwan and J. I would include here even the recent Oxford History of the British Empire series. Gendering resistance: British colonial narratives of wartime New Zealand. (unpublished PhD thesis. Power and Space in South African Cities (Oxford 1996). Divided Horizons (London 1996) 65±77 and Introduction: thinking the postcolonial. The imperial subject: geography and travel in the work of Mary Kingsley and Halford Mackinder. Male and Middle Class: Explorations in Feminism and History (Cambridge 1992). that calls for a decentring of our historical analyses tend to come predominantly from metropolitan locations (British and North American universities). thinking the empire. This would seem to be the case at least for many South African historical geographers who are now attempting to grapple with the reconstruction imperatives of a postEapartheid society. Exceptions in a South African context include studies by Alan Mabin. class and gender travelled and were translated across imperial spaces. Histories. Transactions. For a concise summary of some of the concerns raised by this work. David Lambert. Rethinking urban South Africa.) Cultures of Empire: A Reader (Manchester 2000) 1±33. 1780±1834. S. For the postcolonial role of Birmingham as a `global city'. Islands of Truth. much quoted recently. often of `applied' geographical research. Alan Lester. Jacobs. in Antipode 33 (2001) 730±751. David Demeritt. White. see Felix Driver and David Gilbert (Eds).

see also Alison Blunt. Touching pasts. The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain. and Politics in Jamaica and Britain. David Cannadine has recently suggested that the British Empire was ``not exclusively (or even preponderantly) concerned with the creation of `otherness' on the presumption that the imperial periphery was different from. University of London (2002). Impure and worldly geography: the Africanist discourse of the Royal Geographical Society. Royal Holloway. as well as between each colony and the British metropole. Labor and Citizenship in Postemancipation Societies (Chapel Hill 2000). 1800±1960 (London 1982). The Problem of Freedom: Race. Victorian Attitudes to Race (Toronto 1971). The Nation and its Fragments (Princeton 1993) 28. 1871±1873. the imperial metropolis. On the related removal or alteration of `native agency' speci®cally in narratives of exploration. the striving for af®nity is premised on the recognition of a difference to be overcome. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 19 (2001) 335±350 and True lovers of religion. Journal of Historical Geography 26 (2000) 403±428. Howard Temperley (Ed. Frederick Cooper. [14] See David Lambert. Islands of Truth. society in the metropolis'': Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (London 2001) xix. Douglas Lorimer. and racial reinscription in colonial Barbados. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 19 (2001) 203±225 and Charles Withers Reporting. Area 30 (1998) 99±106. Labor. British settler discourse and the circuits of empire. and inferior to. The Master Subject: White Identities and the Slavery Controversy in Barbados. Lester. Imperial Networks. Imperial Networks. the Cape Colony and New Zealand. on occasions superior to. [16] For two attempts to examine colonial knowledges `on the ground' and their relation to knowledges `at home'. Impure and worldly geography. see Clive Barnett. or even. Dane Kennedy. University of Cambridge 2002). After Slavery: Emancipation and its Discontents (London 2000). Geography Militant: Cultures of Exploration and Empire (Oxford 2001). [12] Jacobs. Beyond Slavery Explorations of Race. [17] See Derek Gregory. and Roderick Mitcham. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 27 (2002) 155±171. knowledge and ritual on the English East India Company's early voyages. 733. `A dream as frail as those of ancient time': the inEcredible geographies of Timbuctoo. Islands of Truth and Lester. Gender. 1780±1834 (unpublished PhD thesis. The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (Ithaca 1966). [18] Dan Clayton uses the term `circumlocutory geographies' to describe this toEing and froEing of ideas and information (personal communication). As Chaterjee argues in the case of India. Thomas Holt and Rebecca Scott. trusting: making geographical knowledge in the late seventeenth century. [19] See. [13] See Alastair Bonnett. 1832±1938 (Baltimore 1992). Barnett. A Cultural Geography of British Humanitarianism. Driver. Writing travels: power. Peter Jackson. Embodying war: British women and domestic de®lement in the Indian `Mutiny'. Islands of White: Settler Society and Culture in Kenya and Southern Rhodesia (Durham. Colour. However. Liminal ®gures: poor whites. mapping. NC 1987). Cultures of travel and spatial formations of knowledge Erdkunde 54 (2002) 297±309 and Miles Ogborn. For geographers' engagement with this issue in a colonial context. Geography and Empire. freedmen. [11] See Mike Heffernan. Geography Militant. . 1884±1933. Christine Bolt. unpublished PhD thesis. For a study of how colonial knowledges travelled between New South Wales. see Alan Lester. and Cannadine underestimates the ways in which the persistence of difference continued to legitimate imperial distinctions. [15] David Brion Davis. it was at least as much (perhaps more?) concerned with what has recently been called the `construction of af®nities' on the presumption that society on the periphery was the same as. White Identities: Historical and International Perspectives (London 2000). History Workshop Journal 54 (2002) 27±50. British imperialism was ``destined never to ful®l its normalizing mission because the premiss of its power was the preservation of the alienness of the ruling group'': Partha Chatterjee. Clayton. Constructions of `whiteness' in the geographical imagination. Cheryl McEwan. Isis 90 (1999) 497±521. see Clayton. Class and the Victorians: English Attitudes to the Negro in the MidENineteenth Century (London 1978). David Lambert. Nancy Leys Stepan.REVIEW ARTICLE 287 [10] In an in¯uential intervention.). Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS 23 (1998) 79±94 and Felix Driver. 1857±1858. for example. Thomas Holt.

Islands of Truth. Geographical Education. David Livingstone Tropical hermeneutics and the climatic imagination. orientalism and French colonialism in IndoEChina: the work of Pierre Gourou. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 21 (2000). and Secret Authorship of `Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation' (Chicago 2001). Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 15 (1997) 155±173. memory and geography. in his Science. tourism and the geographical imagination in southern Africa. My thanks to David Lambert for pointing out this reference. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 20 (2002) 277±293. Touching pasts. [28] The quote is from Nash. Colonialism.). [25] See Alan Lester. culture and the `postcolonial turn' and Absence. Andrew Crowhurst. in Brian Graham and Catherine Nash (Eds). 734. Derek Gregory (Post)colonial and the production of nature. Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication. [21] See John MacKenzie. however. 219). Space and Hermeneutics (Heidelburg 1992). Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 25 (2000) 403±408 and Touching pasts. Journal of Southern African Studies ( forthcoming). Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York 1995). Ecumene 2 (1995) 173±185. Reception. `Talking out of place': authorising the Aboriginal sacred in postcolonial Australia. Propaganda and Empire (Manchester 1984) and Anne McClintock. Cultural Studies 9 (1995) 150±160 and Uncanny Australia. 1870±1944 (Historical Geography Research Series no. Obtaining the ``Due Observance of Justice'': the geographies of colonial humanitarianism. Secord. Empire theatres and the empire: the popular geographical imagination in the age of empire. Imperial Leather: Race. . [29] Nash. in Noel Castree (Ed. see James A. Social Nature (Oxford 2002) 1±63. for a very detailed analysis of the consumption of a particular textÐand one which highlights the dif®cult labour involved in tracking such consumption. [26] I owe this point to discussion with Dan Clayton and a reading of some of his unpublished work. 224. 1927±1982. BC Studies 132 (2001/2002) 65±79. JoAnn McGregor has recently produced a paper on contested indigenous as well as settler discourses of the Victoria Falls which provides an object lesson in studying heterogeneous and contested `native' and colonial representations within the same frame of reference. Touching Pasts Antipode 33 (2001) 730±734 [32] There are. Modern Historical Geographies (London 2000) 146±166. 228. a tropical environment could nevertheless justify racial intermixture and the useful or even necessary `breeding' of a `coloured race' that could not be justi®ed in more temperate climes (see p.288 REVIEW ARTICLE [20] For example. among those such as Trollope who saw clear distinctions in the capacity for civilisation among black and white people. u [24] See Gavin Bowd and Daniel Clayton Tropicality. See Brendah Yeoh. some exceptional works that analyze the intersections between `native' and colonial discourses productively. [30] Nash. Gelder and J. This is the way that. [22] Although. in Alison Blunt and Gillian Rose (Eds). unpublished paper. Cultural geography. 222. [23] Jrgen Habermas. Difference and its other. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (Cambridge 1992). [27] Clayton. Special Issue. K. M. [33] Jacobs. Jane Jacobs has made more persistent attempts than most to ®nd ways around it. Clayton does so in Islands of Truth and Brendah Yeoh develops an excellent treatment of this problem in a particular context. Cultural geography. Hall points to one aspect of the discourse of tropicality that perhaps deserves more attention. Historical geographies of the colonised world. [31] Jane Jacobs. Jane Jacobs. The Victoria Falls: landscape. Empire and Citizenship: Geographical Teaching and Learning in English Schools. Teresa Ploszajska. Cultural geography. Earth honouring: western desires and indigenous knowledge. and JoAnn McGregor. Felix Driver and Brendah Yeoh (Eds). 35 1999). Writing Women and Space (New York 1994) 169±196. Jacobs.

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