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Autobiography of an ArchiveA Scholar's Passage to India$
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Nicholas Dirks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169677

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169677.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Idea of Empire

The Idea of Empire

(p.211) 9 The Idea of Empire
Autobiography of an Archive

Nicholas B. Dirks

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the idea of empire within the context of Britain's imperial relationship with India. The Scandal of Empire argues that empire in India was a problem from the start, born in scandal for both the colonizers and the colonized. It used the impeachment trial of British Governor Warren Hastings—prosecuted by Edmund Burke—as the narrative fulcrum for a larger story about the origins and transformation of empire, exploring categories such as corruption, spectacle, economy, sovereignty, state, history, and tradition. The chapter also considers Burke's concerns about the assault on Indian sovereignty by Hastings and the East India Company and concludes by reflecting on the role of the United States in the post-World War II context, along with its importance for shaping not only his own scholarly perspectives but also many of the conditions of current thought about states, nations, empires, and global markets.

Keywords:   empire, Britain, India, scandal, trial, Warren Hastings, Edmund Burke, corruption, sovereignty, East India Company

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