1 In order to avoid collapsing distinctions between dominance and resistance, I
avoid using the term ‘‘colonial subject’’ to describe Indian subjects living under
colonial rule. My use of the terms ‘‘colonial subject’’ and ‘‘metropolitan-colonial
subject’’ references British colonial o≈cials and their wives; my use of the terms
‘‘native subject’’ and ‘‘nationalist subject’’ refers to South Asians living under
British colonialism, who are further distinguished on the basis of class back-
ground through such adjectives and nouns as ‘‘elite,’’ ‘‘elite-subaltern,’’ and
2 For a thorough history of the origins of modern selfhood, see Charles Taylor’s
Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity. In ‘‘Individual, Group, and
Democracy,’’ Jean Baechler defines the individual as ‘‘the geometric locus of an
indefinite number of determinations, which each in turn may be defined along a
scale that moves from the greatest generality to the greatest particularity’’ (17).
Baechler links this conception of the individual to questions of agency and notes
that the degree to which the individual opts to a≈liate with groups or to remain
singular is determined by sociohistorical factors such as those of ‘‘culture, his-
torical time, political regime, social position, representation, or educational
background’’ (19). While invoking such factors, however, Baechler’s meditation
on the relationship between the individual, groups, and democracy is curiously
3 Cousins was not the only western feminist participant in the Indian nationalist
movement: Annie Besant and Margaret Noble were also active. Because all three
women settled in India, they are distinct from other western women who only
visited the subcontinent. For further information on women travelers, see Dea
Birkett, Spinsters Abroad: Victorian Lady Explorers; Nupur Choudhuri and Margaret
Strobel, Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Resistance; Laura Donaldson,
Decolonizing Feminism: Race, Gender, and Empire-Building; and Inderpal Grewal, Home
and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire, and the Cultures of Travel.
4 For a careful reading of ‘‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’’ and its limitations regard-
ing its ability to adumbrate native resistance, see Asha Varadharajan’s ‘‘Gayatri
Chakravorty Spivak: The ‘Curious Guardian at the Margin,’ ’’ in Exotic Parodies:
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