Colonialism and Modern Constructions of Race: A Preliminary Inquiry

28 Pages Posted: 4 May 2007

See all articles by Tayyab Mahmud

Tayyab Mahmud

Seattle University School of Law - Center for Global Justice

Abstract

This article aims at an examination of the colonial career of the modern construction of race and its traces in post-coloniality. It locates race in regimes of legality and illegality attendant to British colonial rule over India to underscore the defining role of colonialism in modern constructions of race. The first part recounts the modern grammar of racial difference rooted in the colonial encounter between modern Europe and its colonies. The second part identifies three specific sites of deployment of colonial racial stereotypes in colonial India, namely, "martial races," "criminal tribes," and indentured labor. The last part traces the shadow of the colonial discourse of race on anti-colonial nationalism and post-colonial designs of governance in South Asia.

Keywords: colonialism, race, racism, modernity, India, martial race, criminal tribes, indentured labor

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K33, K39, N40, N45

Suggested Citation

Mahmud, Tayyab, Colonialism and Modern Constructions of Race: A Preliminary Inquiry. University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 53, p. 1219, 1999, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=984079

Tayyab Mahmud (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law - Center for Global Justice ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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