Essay about The Study Of Colonial Cities

1322 Words Apr 9th, 2015 6 Pages
The study of colonial cities is an eminent subject among historians and social scientists, where the architecture and the planning of the city has been analyzed in order to unpack different cultural and social meanings prescribed to them by the colonizer and the colonized. These cities underwent processes of modernization once under colonial rule, such as new technological innovations and capitalistic development. The British Empire has been the focal point when studying the colonial city, since it had one of the largest imperial networks. Preeti Chopra, an associate professor of Architecture, urban history and visual studies, specifically in the history of South Asia, examines the colonial city of Bombay from the second half of the nineteenth century into the beginning of the twentieth in her book A Joint Enterprise: Indian Elites and the Making of British Bombay. Chopra brings to light the often overlooked natives who helped in the creation and maintenance of the colonial city. A previous conceived notion that the colonizer built their imperial cities completely on their own with their own agendas is challenged throughout Chopra’s text. It’s argued that “British Bombay was envisioned and built jointly by colonial rulers and Indian and European mercantile and industrial elites to serve various interests,” therefore giving agency to not only the British but to the Indian elites and workers as well. Chopra calls this a “joint enterprise,” where native philanthropists and the…

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