The subject of sati – more commonly known to Anglophone readers as ‘suttee’, a term which was used by 18th- and 19th-century writers to signify the self-immolation of Hindu widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands (1) – has long been of interest to historians.
In Enslaved Women in America: From Colonial Times to Emancipation, Emily West masterfully presents the narrative of women’s lived experiences in slavery through the prism of gender.
‘This book’, writes Jeffrey A. Auerbach in his Introduction to Imperial Boredom, ‘is very much about how people felt’ [his italics]. As such, it takes its place in a growing body of scholarship that explores through individual lives the mind-set that under-pinned the empire project, both individually and on a collective level.
In recent decades historians, postcolonial theorists and feminist scholars have demonstrated how, in a variety of geographical settings, gendered stereotypes supported the conquest and domination of overseas territories by European colonial regimes.