Colonial Proximities

Colonial Proximities : Crossracial Encounters and Juridical Truths in British Columbia, 1871-1921

3.25 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Contemporary discussions of multiculturalism and pluralism remain politically charged in former settler societies. Colonial Proximities historicizes these contestations by illustrating how crossracial encounters in one colonial contact zone - late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century British Columbia - inspired juridical racial truths and forms of governance that continue to inform contemporary politics, albeit in different ways.

Drawing from a wide range of legal cases, archival materials, and commissions of inquiry, this book charts the racial encounters among Aboriginal peoples, European colonists, Chinese migrants, and mixed-race populations. By exploring the real and imagined anxieties that informed contact in salmon canneries, the illicit liquor trade, and the (white) slavery scare, this book reveals the legal and spatial strategies of rule deployed by Indian agents, missionaries, and legal authorities who, in the interests of racial purity and European resettlement, aspired to restrict, and ultimately prevent, crossracial interactions. Linking histories of Aboriginal-European contact and Chinese migration, this book demonstrates that the dispossession of aboriginal peoples and Chinese exclusion were never distinct projects, but part of the same colonial processes of racialization that underwrote the formation of the settler regime.

Colonial Proximities shows us that British Columbia's contact zone was marked by a racial heterogeneity that not only produced anxieties about crossracial contacts but also distinct modes of exclusion including the territorial dispossession of aboriginal peoples and legal restrictions on Chinese immigration. It is essential reading for students and scholars of history, anthropology, sociology, colonial/ postcolonial studies, and critical race and legal studies.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20.32mm | 480g
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • English
  • 16 b&w photos, 2 tables
  • 0774816341
  • 9780774816342
  • 762,959

Table of contents

1 Introduction: Heterogeneity and Interraciality in British Columbia's Colonial "Contact Zone"

2 The Racial Impurities of Global Capitalism: The Politics of Labour, Interraciality, and Lawlessness in the Salmon Canneries

3 (White) Slavery, Colonial Knowledges, and the Rise of State Racisms

4 National Formations and Racial Selves: Chinese Traffickers and Aboriginal Victims in British Columbia's Illicit Liquor Trade

5 "The Most Disreputable Characters": Mixed-Bloods, Internal Enemies, and Imperial Futures
Conclusion: Colonial Pasts, Entangled Presents, and Promising Futures



show more

Review quote

"This book offers fascinating new perspectives on the roots of Canadian racism. Moving beyond traditional narratives of Aboriginal-European contact and Chinese-European relations, Renisa Mawani probes the unsettled landscape of cross-racial encounters between "indians" and "Chinese" in BC history. She deftly captures the frenzied anxieties that whites harboured over ungovernable mixed-race activities, and brilliantly dissects the renewed state racisms that were born of such encounters. - Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa"
show more

About Renisa Mawani

Renisa Mawani is an associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia.
show more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.25 out of 5 stars
5 12% (1)
4 25% (2)
3 50% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 12% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X