Introduction: Making Sense of Empire

V. Duggal*, C. Hoene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review


This essay serves as an introduction to a special section on the senses in late colonial India. Participating in the act of decolonising sensory studies, this collection explores the intersections between post-colonial studies and sensory studies by paying particular attention to the sensorium of the colonised. In the historical and geographical context of colonial South Asia, the senses are embedded in acts of distinction across race, caste, class, and bodily and gender hierarchies. The collection intervenes by paying attention to the relationship between power and sense perception as it finds register in media, scientific practices and literature of the period. Across the section, we suggest that making sense of empire is also to make sense of the sensory regimes of empire that have resonances in the contemporary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-912
Number of pages10
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2021


  • Decolonising
  • empire
  • India
  • post-colonial studies
  • power
  • sense perception
  • sensory regime
  • sensory studies

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