ISBN: 9788776940270

Other Landscapes: Colonialism and the Predicament of Authority in Nineteenth-Century South India


Deborah Sutton

September 2009
272 pp, 15x23 cm, hardback
23 maps and illustrations
For sale in Thailand only

Due to the inhospitable climate and vastness of the native population, European settlement of India was never seriously considered, apart from selected upland areas with cooler climates and sparse native populations.

One such area was the Nilgiri Hills of South India, which, from the early nineteenth century, saw concerted efforts at European colonization and displacement of the local population as well as an attempt to visualize and recreate an English landscape in the area.

Other Landscapes investigates the interfaces between indigenes, European settlers, and the colonial state on the Nilgiri Hills, focusing on land disputes, regulation of land sales, regimes of forest management, and ethnographic projects of cultural “preservation”. It examines the landscape as it was configured in the Imperial imagination, explores the corruption and manipulation of local administration, and argues that rarely, if ever, did official intent correspond to the systems of reform, regulation, and invigilation imposed over the local agrarian landscape.

About the author

Deborah Sutton lectures in history at Lancaster University. Besides her work on the Nilgiri Hills of South India, her recent research focuses on conservationist aesthetics and archaeological practices in twentieth-century South Asia.

Related files


South India | Nilgiri Hills | colonialization | indigenous peoples | population displacement | land disputes | forest management | cultural preservation