Other Landscapes investigates the ordering and disordering of colonial authority in South India during the nineteenth century. The colonisation of the Nilgiri hills required a landscape to be constituted within the colonial bureaucratic order. This landscape was organised by the imperatives of improvement and marked out by ethnographic, agricultural and arboreal typologies. It was against this scheme of people, property and resources that colonial legislation and settler occupation were to be consolidated. However, this imagined landscape over which legislation was passed could neither match nor capture the complexities of the many lives inhabiting the hills. In the spaces between legislation and the everyday, colonial authority was forced constantly to transgress of its own norms and principles. Violence, inefficiency, corruption and loss of profit seeped through the margins of colonial governance.
Other Landscapes performs a double manoeuvre; mining the colonial archive for the histories of colonisation and using these histories as a means to interrogate the nature of the authority which laid down that archive.
This book will be of interest to historians, anthropologists, sociologists and environmentalists.