Rebecca Swartz F'17
African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships 2017
Colonial Education in the British Empire, 1830 - 1880
The proposed monograph argues that schooling and education were foundational in constructing racial difference in the British colonies. Rooted in in-depth Southern African archival research, used in comparison with other colonial cases, the book argues that schools were sites of contact between different groups, including Indigenous people, missionaries, colonial officials and interested researchers. Schools were used to ‘discover’ Indigenous people: to find out about racial difference and examine the effects of colonial encounters on Indigenous people. Schools were also sites of ‘humanitarian’ interventions. They were places in which Indigenous children could be remoulded into imperial subjects - through exposing them to correct regime of Christianity, civilisation and labour. The book indicates the utility of studying histories of education to deepen understandings of race, labour and gender as they related to life stage.