• Exploring British India: South African prisoners of war as imperial travel writers, 1899–1902

    Author(s):
    Nienke Boer (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    CLCS Global Anglophone, CLCS Global South, LLC African to 1990, Prospective Forum: CLCS Indian Ocean, TC Postcolonial Studies
    Subject(s):
    Indian ocean studies, War writing, Travel literature, South African literature, Victorian studies, British empire
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    south african war, ceylon, tourism, war prisoners
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6M61BP7N
    Abstract:
    During the second South African War (1899–1902), also known as the Anglo-Boer War, the British War Office supervised the transportation of approximately 24,000 South African prisoners of war to Bermuda, St. Helena, and British India. Examining previously unstudied memoirs published immediately following the war by war prisoners held in camps in India and Ceylon, I argue that these texts read not, as one would expect, as prison or war writing, but as travel literature. These authors do not see a conflict between enjoying the benefits of empire abroad while fighting an anti-imperial war at home. The descriptions of landscapes and events in these memoirs suggest a cultural imaginary built on travelling and cultural exchange, as opposed to the insular and nativist Afrikaner nationalism that would follow empire. This article thus contributes to a larger project of examining the precursors of postcolonial nationalism, as well as historical and imaginative links between imperial peripheries.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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