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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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Ahmed, "An Unlimited Intercourse": Historical Contradictions and Imperial Romance in the Early Nineteenth Century

With parliament's 1813 decision simultaneously to end the East India Company's monopoly by opening the colonies to British free merchants and to permit British evangelicals to establish missions there, the nature of the empire in India began to change: the British public now had an opportunity to play an economic and spiritual role in the empire. Now, the economic and moral aspects of the empire, superintended by the British nation, separated from the political aspect, which remained in the hands of the EIC. The former staked the claims of "modernity" and the civilizing mission; the latter rationalized its openly despotic politics by insisting that it was concerned to preserve native "traditions." Sydney Owenson's early-nineteenth-century historical novel The Missionary: an Indian Tale was the first novel to represent the problem of colonial India in terms of a conflict between modernity and tradition, rather than between the principles of the nation-state and the politics of empire. In order to produce this new vision of the colonial encounter, The Missionary needed to produce a new narrative form that effaced a fact eighteenth-century writers rarely could: in the colonies, Indian "traditions" were a mask constructed by the colonial regime to conceal its violations of the fundamental principles of civil society.
November 2000

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Broadside Version: Annotations - "The Devil's Walk" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

September, 1997

Annotations (Broadside Version)

The following notes, which relate The Devil's Walk, A Ballad to its cultural and textual histories, include discussion of all our departures from our copy-text: 1812.



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