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A Primer for RebellionIndian Cannabis and Imperial Culture in the Nineteenth Century

A Primer for RebellionIndian Cannabis and Imperial Culture in the Nineteenth Century This essay explores how the British imperial archive of cannabis addiction in the mid-nineteenth century was shaped by ideas of religious devotion, ordinary leisure, and anxieties arising from revolt and rebellion. It asks how cannabis was discursively constituted as ubiquitous in India and subsequently cast as a conduit to anti-imperial violence in narratives of imperial counterinsurgency. In colonial India, British imperial strategies of knowing the plant’s intoxicating power indexed together several devotional and laboring bodies, among whom the figure of the Indian rebel occupied a unique globally legible location. Revisiting the popular reportage and writing on the Indian Rebellion, this essay argues that cannabis was materialized through the rebel’s body as the rationale for victory, loss, and disorder to ultimately inform and reveal how the reproduction of race and gender shaped the insurgent and counterinsurgent logic of cannabis use under empire. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png English Language Notes Duke University Press

A Primer for RebellionIndian Cannabis and Imperial Culture in the Nineteenth Century

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Copyright
Copyright © 2022 Regents of the University of Colorado
ISSN
0013-8282
eISSN
2573-3575
DOI
10.1215/00138282-9560243
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay explores how the British imperial archive of cannabis addiction in the mid-nineteenth century was shaped by ideas of religious devotion, ordinary leisure, and anxieties arising from revolt and rebellion. It asks how cannabis was discursively constituted as ubiquitous in India and subsequently cast as a conduit to anti-imperial violence in narratives of imperial counterinsurgency. In colonial India, British imperial strategies of knowing the plant’s intoxicating power indexed together several devotional and laboring bodies, among whom the figure of the Indian rebel occupied a unique globally legible location. Revisiting the popular reportage and writing on the Indian Rebellion, this essay argues that cannabis was materialized through the rebel’s body as the rationale for victory, loss, and disorder to ultimately inform and reveal how the reproduction of race and gender shaped the insurgent and counterinsurgent logic of cannabis use under empire.

Journal

English Language NotesDuke University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2022

References