Islanded: Natural History in the British Colonization of Ceylon

Edited by Sujit Sivasundaram

in Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780226487267
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487298 | DOI:
Islanded: Natural History in the British Colonization of Ceylon

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This chapter examines the symbolic geography of Ceylon as a scientific site. It suggests that the scale of inquiry in Ceylon included the ways in which nineteenth-century networks of colonial understanding about that island could not be separated from questions about the physical topography of the island itself. This chapter also contends that the twin topography of Ceylon and their long-standing iconic associations were constitutive of relations between British natural history and the natural knowledge that Kandyans cultivated around Buddhist temples.

Keywords: Ceylon; scientific site; symbolic geography; British natural history; natural knowledge; Kandyans; Buddhist temples; topography

Chapter.  10429 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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