Towards a genealogy of colonialism - Governing the "Other" in the colonial and European world of Denmark, c. 1780-1849.



Focusing on technologies of power in three minor parts of the Danish empire, this project aims to compare metropolitan and colonial government over time and space. As the comparative element I have chosen to focus on the Caribbean slave society of St. Croix, the South Indian trade station of Tranquebar and, lastly, a rural county in metropolitan Denmark.

Generally speaking, historians of empire and the colonial state are not inclined to carry out detailed comparative studies of colonial and metropolitan technologies of power. Instead, both international and Danish studies prefer to follow the call of postcolonial theory to identify the "essential" exceptionality and contradictions of colonial power, while assuming that the act of comparing colony and metropole - like apples and oranges - will only elucidate the "inherently" different "nature" of colonialism. Rather than separating colonial and metropolitan power into two isolated fields, supposedly subject to their own unique dynamics that can only be grasped through a theoretical language sensitive to this specificity, this project aims to fathom both fields within the same analytical frame. The purpose is not to mask "difference", but rather to open up analysis to similarities in the logics and tensions of power that urge us to problematize the otherwise concealed world of the colonial and metropolitan state.

Populärvetenskaplig beskrivning

This project is concern with the forms of power that was utilized within Danish empire in order to govern its diverse parts. By comparing colonial governments in the Caribbean and India with the metropolitan State in rural Denmark, the project seeks to produce new knowledge about the similarities and differences between colonies and metropoles in the 18th and 19th centuries
Kort titelTowards a genealogy of colonialism
Gällande start-/slutdatum2015/09/012020/09/01