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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Unmooring the Komagata Maru

Charting Colonial Trajectories

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Unmooring the Komagata Maru

Charting Colonial Trajectories

In 1914, the SS Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver Harbour and was detained for two months. Most of its 376 passengers were then forcibly returned to India. Unmooring the Komagata Maru challenges conventional Canadian historical accounts by drawing from multiple disciplines and fields to consider the international and colonial dimensions of the voyage. By situating South Asian Canadian history within a global-imperial context, the contributors offer a critical reading of Canadian multiculturalism through past events and their commemoration. A hundred years later, the voyage of the Komagata Maru has yet to reach its conclusion.

352 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction: Itinerant Subjects of Empire: Unmooring the Komagata Maru / Davina Bhandar and Rita Kaur Dhamoon

Part 1: The Politics of Anti-Colonial Resistance in the Journey of the Komagata Maru

1 Right to the Empire?: British Imperial Citizenship before the First World War / Ian Christopher Fletcher

2 The Last Stretch of the Journey: The Komagata Maru, War-Time Political Radicalism, and Migrant Workers from Punjab in Calcutta / Suchetana Chattopadhyay

3 Resistance Struggles: Facing Lies, Deception, and Racism / Satwinder Kaur Bains

Part 2: Migration Regimes in Colonial Contexts

4 The Komagata Maru as Event: Legal Transformations in Migration Regimes / Radhika Mongia

5 Borders, Boats, and Brown Bodies: Reading Tamil “Irregular Arrivals” through the History of the Komagata Maru / Nadia Hasan, Sailaja Krishnamurti, Omme-Salma Rahemtullah, Nayani Thiyagarajah, and Nishant Upadhyay

6 Temporary Arrivals: The Komagata Maru Passengers and Migrant Labour / Davina Bhandar

Part 3: Colonial Temporalities of Memory and Cultural Production

7 The Komagata Maru Incident as Described in Two Japanese Works / Kaori Mizukami

8 (Mis)Representing the Komagata Maru in Indian Print Cultures / Irina Spector-Marks

9 The Time and Sound of the Nautical Border / Ayesha Hameed

Part 4: Disrupting Colonial Formations of Nation

10 When Home and Harem Collide: The "Hindu Women’s Question": A Mass Spectacle of the Canadian Nation, Family, and Modernity / Enakshi Dua

11 The Komagata Maru Recontextualized: Memory, History, and Diasporic Sikh Subnationalism in Anita Rau Badami’s Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? / Rajender

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