Creating a Place for Islam in England: The Politics of Nation, Ethnicity, and Empire in the Late Victorian Period
In this paper I would like to present material related to my forthcoming book to be published as part of Manchester University Press’s Studies in Imperialism series entitled The Harem, Slavery, and British Imperial Culture: Anglo-Muslim Relations in the Late Nineteenth Century. The paper will focus on the creation of a place for Islam in English society during the late 19th century and how discourses both sympathetic with and critical of Islam functioned within the same British imperial cultural system. The paper will address the presence of Muslim lascars, or sailors, and ayahs, or nannies, in England as the result of the East India company; English converts to Islam; the mosque in Woking; the contributions of British Indian gentlemen of the Raj to English life and Orientalist representations in order to shed light on this topic. I will discuss how changes in English society during this time mark a critical but often overlooked period in English history and Anglo-Muslim relations, one that marks a shift of the foundation upon which the discourses of identity were being created.
Keywords: Britsh Empire, Islam, Culture, Nation, England, Englishness, Ethnicity, Identity, history, Victorian period, Orientalism
Dr. Diane Robinson-Dunn
Asst. Professor, History Department, University of Detroit