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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Chinese indentured labourers in British Guiana (1838-1900) : an exploration of colonial text Ali, Alicia Alison

Abstract

During the post-emancipation period of British Guiana (1838-1900) Chinese indentured servants were imported into the colony for the purpose of working on sugar plantations. It is argued in this paper that colonial literature constructed two competing themes regarding Chinese identity in British Guiana. Using colonial discourse analysis, specifically Foucault, Said and Bhabha, this thesis explores how dementi's narrative represented the Chinese immigrant as an "ideal immigrant" who embraced the sugar plantation of British Guiana, while Kirke's memoirs portray an "exotic immigrant" in need of constant vigilance. Although the writings of Clementi and Kirke attempt to organize, order and assert power over the colonized space of British Guiana, these two authors reveal tension and ambivalence between the colonized Chinese subject and the dominant colonial discourse.

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