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Durham e-Theses
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Classificatory violence: difference, discipline, and (de)gradation in Uganda’s northern Albertine Rift, c.1860 to c.1991

BROWNE, ADRIAN,JAMES (2020) Classificatory violence: difference, discipline, and (de)gradation in Uganda’s northern Albertine Rift, c.1860 to c.1991. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 09 September 2021.

Abstract

This thesis traces the connections between ethnicity, hierarchy, and punishment on a Ugandan periphery. Focusing on an area known as Bugungu in the lowland northern-western littoral of Bunyoro, this study explores a colonial optic that ordered ethnic subjects not only horizontally and spatially through division and agglomeration, but also vertically by ascribing places in a civilisational hierarchy. This study advances the concept of ethno-civilisationalism to encapsulate this mode of thought and practice. Adopted by the British partly as a matter of expedience and economy, this approach offered opportunities for colonial subjects to assert or advance their own rank, drawing on their own prior versions of inter-ethnic hierarchy. Shifting the focus from the violence of classification to violence as classification, this thesis posits that ethnic difference and hierarchy was primarily inscribed in colonial Africa through what is here termed ‘collectivising punishment’ – punishment of, or calibrated for, particular collectives on the basis of stereotypes. Colonialism constituted a project of discipline and rank as well as one of divide and rule. Based on archival and oral sources, this thesis looks to the peripheries of a colonial territory where the British at times outsourced the business of empire – including punishment – to what they saw as ‘more civilised’ African ethnic sub-colonials, instead of adopting Indirect Rule. The thesis traces the evolution, contestation, and internalisation of these ideas and practices within states and society over a period of 130 years, spanning the pre-colonial and post-colonial eras.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Sep 2020 09:18

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