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Gender and Empire$
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Philippa Levine

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249503.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Empire, Gender, and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century

Empire, Gender, and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century

(p.14) 2 Empire, Gender, and Modernity in the Eighteenth Century
Gender and Empire

Kathleen Wilson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the centrality of gender to British dominion and British modernity and to the categories of difference that Empire claimed to have ‘discovered’, vindicated, and sustained. Gender is not a synonym for women; neither is it a ‘fact’ of the past (or present) awaiting discovery. Historians have argued that gender was both a relation of power and a way of signifying relationships of power that produced and orchestrated the changing meanings of sexual difference in time, shaping social institutions, privileges, expectations, and experience. Gender was also a means of marking the body for cultural ends in 18th-century Europe, where vision was held to be an increasingly important way of ascertaining reality.

Keywords:   British dominion, Empire, gender, the body, historians, power, Europe

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