Manual Purifying Empire: Obscenity and the Politics of Moral Regulation in Britain, India and Australia

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The conception of obscenity as contagion allowed for the development of censorship as a sanitary system.

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Through the comparison of Australia to British India, Heath shows the ways that the state considered codes and materials in relationship to populations. While Australia practiced exclusion, the British colonial state largely refused to censor because of the ways that the Hicklin standard demanded the consideration of texts relative to people.

The Hicklin standard did not establish a universal definition of indecency but instead considered whether materials could deprave and corrupt in relation to the populace. The application of this standard across the subcontinent meant that the continuous reappraisal of the innate capacity for corruption in people was set against textual circulation.

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As a result, incursions into obscenity were rare and undertaken by Indian elites rather than the British as long as the materials did not realistically depict sexuality, describe practices that could Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

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Purity, Obscenity and the Making of an Imperial Censorship System

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vergzibmoupaptau.ml Journal of the History of Sexuality. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Reviewed by:.

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This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Google Scholar. Obscenity , like the terms morality, virtue and civility , was a socially determined concept that changed according to who was reading or viewing the work in question, and when and where they were doing so.

Hicklin , 3 QB CrossRef Google Scholar.

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Hunt, Governing Morals , p. London and New York: Longman, , p.


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  7. Since both Australia and India contained large numbers of English speakers, their importance as markets for British publishers and booksellers was evident as early as mid-century. Although British book exports to Canada continued to increase throughout the nineteenth century, they did not increase at the same rate as British exports to Australia due to the increasing dominance of the US in the Canadian book trade. Such a reorganisation included new modes of literary production, a transition from free enterprise to monopoly capital and increased international competition, as well as the growth of democracy and concurrent class and gender shifts.

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    For a more detailed examination of some of these shifts, Google Scholar. Colonial libraries were editions that were designed for sale only in the colonies.