Mobility, sexuality and civilisation: settlers, strangers, nomads and gypsies in the Pacific to 1910
Settlers in British colonies, and settlement house workers in urban America in the nineteenth century, saw themselves as bringing civilisation to urban primitives, noble savages and savage immigrants. Civilisation in Europe and the colonies was often tied to land, the settlement of land, agriculture and cultivation. Nomads, gypsies, immigrants, itinerant labourers, tramps and other derogatorily defined mobile populations, were often constructed in relation to settlers, missionaries and explorers, who were associated with the civis, city, and civilisation. Yet settlers were themselves immigrants, explorers were often part of itinerant populations, and missionaries and colonial officials were mobile as well. This paper mines the archives of Intercolonial Conferences for relational constructions of mobile populations, civilisation and sexuality in the Pacific in the nineteenth century.