This book was conceived, written, and revised over a period of nearly six years- with many anticipated and unanticipated detours-in Waterville, Boston, London, Delhi, and Calcutta. My special thanks go to Geeta Patel, whose special skills as a rigorous intellectual mentor are exceeded only by her special generosity and good humor. Much of the study was conducted in the spirit of rethinking the complex histories of colonialism by revisiting the scattered sites of the colonial archive, both in the UK and in India. For this, I owe a special debt to Colby College for its generous support of my research through its humanities research grants. I also offer my deep thanks to my colleagues at Colby College, particularly to the members of the Humanities Grant Committee who approved generous funding for my work; to David Suchoff who patiently read sections of my chapters and offered his incisive critiques; and to other members of the Colby faculty, including Michelle Chilcoat, John Beusterien, Katherine Stubbs, Mary Beth Mills, James Barrett, Carmen Muro-Perez, Meriwynn Grothe, Jorge Olivares, Steven Nuss, and Nikky Singh. To Anjali Arondekar, Jyotsna Singh, and Kath Weston, I offer my sincerest thanks for their spirit and intellectual verve, which continue to inspire me in ways that are hard to enumerate; and to Prajna Parasher, Maria Koundoura, Robert Dulgerian, Harry Walker, Sanjay Talreja, and Andrew Feffer, for conversations that made me sit up and think. To my students in my critical theory, modern British, and postcolonial literature classes, particularly to Zahid Chaudhury, Mike Reilly, and John Sullivan. To my friends from my “undergraduate days” at Delhi University-Samidha Garg, Anil Sethi, Dilip Saxena, Padmanabh Mishra, Gaura Narayan, Amrita Bhalla, Lalita Subbu, Renuka Subbu, and Nirmalya Samanta; to the late Shantha Kadambi of the Department of English at Delhi University, who first instilled in me the love of intellectual labor; and to my friends in the UK-Jonathan Hardy, Gary Lewis, and Megha Chand-for accompanying me for midday lunches and walks through London's parks.
To my mother Meena Roy, and to Arup Roy, Swati Vijh, Harish Vijh, Shanti Roy, Rina Dass, Ratna Sen, and Chandrima Das Gupta-all of whom provided the emotional support for engaging in the long labors of writing and rewriting, and without whom returning to India to conduct “archival work” would have been unthinkable. I thank the library staff at the British Library in London, the National