Abstract

In offering a rereading of imperial humanitarianism, this essay explores the interplay between the functioning of the modern British empire as an extended and dispersed political terrain, the distinctive qualities of paper and print as knowledge technologies, and the centrality of the emotions or ‘sentiment’ in humanitarian sensibilities. Drawing upon materials from the New Zealand frontier, it suggests that thinking through “moving texts” offers a crucial window on humanitarianism’s operation as an influential political formation within the modern British empire and is an effective mechanism for reassessing the political sensibilities that linked Britain and its colonies. The essay also underlines the potent and abiding consequences that “moving texts” had for Indigenous communities as they functioned as powerful engines that entangled them in the politics of empire and colonisation.

Additional Information

ISSN
1532-5768
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-31
Open Access
No
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