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Learning Femininity In Colonial India, 1820-1932$
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Tim Allender

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085796

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085796.001.0001

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Mary Carpenter and feminine ‘rescue’ from Europe, 1866–77

Mary Carpenter and feminine ‘rescue’ from Europe, 1866–77

(p.91) Chapter Three Mary Carpenter and feminine ‘rescue’ from Europe, 1866–77
Learning Femininity In Colonial India, 1820-1932

Tim Allender

Manchester University Press

The new feminine prototype of the Eurasian schoolgirl was the outcome of official racialised policy concerning female education after 1860. Statecraft now fused this policy preference with the strong lobby mounted by the Unitarian, Mary Carpenter, in favour of teacher training in India. While appearing to be an advocate of female learning, as a social theorist Carpenter’s advocacy actually came from her work with destitute women and girls in England. Her focus, partly informed by an amateur anthropology, emphasized the conditioning of the female emotional body through teaching, in the absence of the mother, so their rightly oriented femininity could then later nurture well-adjusted children for the betterment of future society. Teacher-training was now given preference by Carpenter even ahead of school education first for females in India. Though not apparent to her contemporaries, and not sensitive to race in the way official policy now was, this social imperative sat oddly in colonial India. Carpenter’s stark teacher training institutions, embedded in local communities, invited opportunities for hostile Indians to rebel, creating potentially serious dispute based on the moral and sexual propriety of Carpenter’s female trainee teachers: the very grounds upon which these institutions were promoted by the colonial state.

Keywords:   Gender, Teacher, Training, Sex, Education, Race, Accomplishments, Carpenter, Jails, Anthropology

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