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O'Quinn, "Through Colonial Spectacles: the Irish Vizier and the Female-Knight in James Cobb's Ramah Droog"

James Cobb's popular comic opera Ramah Droog offers a useful site for examining the ways that representations of colonial space and of sexual deviance come together to generate a phantasm of a heteronormative imperial Britain. The set designs of Cobb's opera are explicitly linked to Thomas and William Daniells illustrations of Indian landscape and the essay demonstrates how key aspects of the visuality of the opera celebrate Cornwallis's victory over Tipu Sultan. This celebration is crucial for the play suggests a parallel between Cornwallis's defeat of Tipu and his later subjugation of Irish rebels in Wexford. These parallels are elaborated through the play's deployment of characters who are both ethnically and sexually cross-dressed. The presentation of a feminized Irish vizier and a masculinized Irish female knight constitutes a rupture in conventional theatrical representation and as such points toward the silent construction of heteronormative British imperial subjects at the opera's close.
November 2000

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A View of the Inside of a Zananah


Daniel J. O'Quinn, Introduction The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

"A View of the Inside of a Zananah. Engraved by W. Skelton from an Indian Painting in the Possession of William Hodges R. A." from William Hodges, Travels in India During the Years of 1780, 1781, 1782, & 1783 (London: J. Edwards, 1793). By permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

November 2000

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A View of Calcutta


Daniel J. O'Quinn, Introduction The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

"A View of Calcutta, taken from Fort William. Engraved by W. Byrne from a Picture Painted by W. Hodges R.A. in the Collection of Warren Hastings Esq." from William Hodges, Travels in India During the Years of 1780, 1781, 1782, & 1783 (London: J. Edwards, 1793). By permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

November 2000

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A View of the Fort of Gwalior


Daniel J. O'Quinn, Introduction The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

"A View of the Fort of Gwalior. Engraved by W. Byrne from a Picture Painted by W. Hodges R. A. in the Collection of Warren Hasings Esq." from William Hodges, Travels in India During the Years 1780, 1781, 1782, & 1783 (London: J. Edwards, 1793). By permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Plate 6


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 6

Ganga, from Sir William Jones's "On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India" (1785) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Plate 5


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 5

Brahma, from Sir William Jones's "On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India" (1785) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

Plate 5
November 2000

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Plate 4


L. M. Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones" The Containment and Re-deployment of English India, edited by Daniel J. O'Quinn

Plate 4

Nareda, the Hindu Hermes, from Sir William Jones's "On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India" (1785) By kind permission of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

November 2000

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Findlay, "'[T]hat Liberty of Writing': Incontinent Ordinance in 'Oriental' Jones"

Sir William Jones (1746-1794) remains a key figure in the continuing history of romantic and other orientalisms. At the very mention of the idea of "Containing English India," he leaps to mind not only as part of the contents contained within any envelope or archive so designated, but also as part of the discontent and unruly dissemination of such contents. Jones is both of the Indian sub-continent and in various senses incontinent within it and when writing about it (just as he is both inside and outside the dominant versions of Englishness in the later eighteenth century). In this essay, I revisit this dialectic of positioning or location, containing and incontinence, and the related contradictions that constituted Jones's early libertarianisim in England and his later legal and philological activities in India. My emphasis at every stage is on the Anglo-Indian Jones. Moreover, the echo in my title of that Gulf War euphemism, incontinent ordinance, is a deliberate gesture towards two points I stress in my conclusion: namely, that imperialism did not end with the British in India, and that imperialism's instabilities and illusions are always evident, if we care to look, in the language it uses to describe itself.
November 2000

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