Moving across academic disciplines, geographical boundaries, and literary genres, Home and Harem examines how travel shaped ideas about culture and nation in nineteenth-century imperialist England and colonial India. Inderpal Grewal’s study of the narratives and discourses of travel reveals the ways in which the colonial encounter created linked yet distinct constructs of nation and gender and explores the impact of this encounter on both English and Indian men and women. Reworking colonial discourse studies to include both sides of the colonial divide, this work is also the first to discuss Indian women traveling West as well as English women touring the East.
In her look at England, Grewal draws on nineteenth-century aesthetics, landscape art, and debates about women’s suffrage and working-class education to show how all social classes, not only the privileged, were educated and influenced by imperialist travel narratives. By examining diverse forms of Indian travel to the West and its colonies and focusing on forms of modernity offered by colonial notions of travel, she explores how Indian men and women adopted and appropriated aspects of European travel discourse, particularly the set of oppositions between self and other, East and West, home and abroad.
Rather than being simply comparative, Home and Harem is a transnational cultural study of the interaction of ideas between two cultures. Addressing theoretical and methodological developments across a wide range of fields, this highly interdisciplinary work will interest scholars in the fields of postcolonial and cultural studies, feminist studies, English literature, South Asian studies, and comparative literature.