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Ashley Wright
Washington State University (Pullman, WA 99164-0001)
Gender, Law and Colonial Rule in British India and Burma, 1858-1915

Research and writing leading to a book analyzing legal conflicts in colonial India and Burma that involved women displaced by the expansion of British imperial power between 1858 and World War I.

This project analyzes a series of legal conflicts in colonial India and Burma, occurring between the beginning of direct British rule in India in 1858 and the First World War. Each conflict involved the imperial regime and women who were, in different ways, displaced by the forces of empire: ‘orphans’ from an Irish Catholic military family in North India, a Bengali indentured labourer in Assam, ‘European’ barmaids working in Rangoon and Calcutta at the turn of the century, a Malay Muslim mother and daughter in Burma, and a Burmese woman married to a Chinese man in colonial Rangoon. In every case, the life circumstances of the woman or women involved in the conflict were shaped by the migrations that accompanied the expansion of British imperial power. I analyse these legal conflicts to show what each one reveals about the social world of the woman at its centre and about the nature of imperial governance in India and Burma.

Project fields:
British History; South Asian History; Women's History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/15/2021 – 7/15/2021