The colonisation of time

Nanni, Giordano
Date published: 
January 2012

This book is a highly original and long overdue examination of the ways that western-European and specifically British concepts and rituals of time were imposed on other cultures as a fundamental component of colonisation during the nineteenth century. Based on a wealth of primary sources, it explores the intimate relationship between the colonisation of time and space in two British settler-colonies (Victoria, Australia and the Cape Colony, South Africa) and its instrumental role in the exportation of Christianity, capitalism, and modernity, thus adding new depth to our understanding of imperial power and of the ways in which it was exercised and limited. All those intrigued by the concept of time will find this book of interest, for it illustrates how western-European time’s rise to a position of global dominance—from the clock to the seven-day week—is one of the most pervasive, enduring and taken-for-granted legacies of colonisation in today’s world.