Book Talk | Anand Yang, “Empire of Convicts:...

Book Talk with Dr. Anand Yang

Join us as JSIS professor Anand Yang speaks about his new book, Empire of Convicts: Indian Penal Labor in Colonial Southeast Asia, followed by a Q&A session. Sunila S. Kale, Director of the South Asia Center and Associate Professor of International Studies, will host.

Empire of Convicts focuses on male and female Indians incarcerated in Southeast Asia for criminal and political offenses committed in colonial South Asia. From the seventeenth century onward, penal transportation was a key strategy of British imperial rule, exemplified by deportations first to the Americas and later to Australia. Case studies from the insular prisons of Bengkulu, Penang, and Singapore illuminate another carceral regime in the Indian Ocean World that brought South Asia and Southeast Asia together through a global system of forced migration and coerced labor.

A major contribution to histories of crime and punishment, prisons, law, labor, transportation, migration, colonialism, and the Indian Ocean World, Empire of Convicts narrates the experiences of Indian bandwars (convicts) and shows how they exercised agency in difficult situations, fashioning their own worlds and even becoming “their own warders.” Anand Yang brings long journeys across kala pani (black waters) to life in a deeply researched and engrossing account that moves fluidly between local and global contexts.

Read more about Empire of Convicts as featured by UW News.

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