The New Subject(s): Civics and the ‘Citizen’ in Colonial India

Vortrag in Englischer Sprache

Dr. Manish Jain
Otto Bennemann-Stipendiat am Georg-Eckert-Institut

In late nineteenth century a new subject called civics entered the school curriculum in western
countries and in British colonies. In this lecture, I examine how the concept of citizen and the
epistemology of the subject called civics were shaped by the historical conditions and processes of
colonialism in India. I question whether the civilizational, pedagogic and political imperatives of the
colonial situation gave a different currency to the humanistic functions associated with civics and its disciplinary character. What visions, priorities, images, forces, ideological roots, and colonial
discourses shaped civics in its infant stage (1890s-1918) in colonial India? How did Indians respond
to these attempts to discipline them through a new subject and in what ways did they accept,
appropriate and resist these discourses? To answer these questions, I focus on the first textbook of
civics in India, The Citizen of India (1897), by Sir William Lee-Warner and the controversy around its

About Dr. Manish Jain
Manish Jain is an Assistant Professor at the School of Education Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), India. He is a former doctoral fellow of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI), Delhi/Calgary and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi and is currently an Otto Bennemann fellow at the Georg Eckert Institute (GEI), Braunschweig.

17.06.2015, 17:00

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