2020, Publikationen

Nilanjana Mukherjee (2020): Spatial Imaginings in the Age of Colonial Cartographic Reason: Maps, Landscapes, Travelogues in Britain and India, Routledge: New York

This volume explores how India as a geographical space was constructed by the British colonial regime in visual and material terms. It demonstrates the instrumentalisation of cultural artefacts such as landscape paintings, travel literature and cartography, as spatial practices overtly carrying scientific truth claims, to materially produce artificial spaces that reinforced power relations. It sheds light on the primary dominance of cartographic reason in the age of European Enlightenment which framed aesthetic and scientific modes of representation and imagination. The author cross-examines this imperial gaze as a visual perspective which bore the material inscriptions of a will to assert, possess and control. The distinguishing theme in this study is the production of India as a new geography sourced from Britain’s own interaction with its rural outskirts and domination in its fringes.