By Piya Chatterjee
During this inventive, ethnographic, and historic critique of work practices on an Indian plantation, Piya Chatterjee offers a cosmopolitan exam of the construction, intake, and move of tea. A Time for Tea finds how the feminine tea-pluckers obvious in advertisements—picturesque girls in mist-shrouded fields—came to represent the guts of colonialism in India. Chatterjee exposes how this snapshot has distracted from poor operating stipulations, low wages, and coercive hard work practices enforced by way of the patronage system.Allowing own, scholarly, and creative voices to talk in flip and in tandem, Chatterjee discusses the fetishization of ladies who exertions lower than colonial, postcolonial, and now neofeudal stipulations. In telling the overarching tale of commodity and empire, A Time for Tea demonstrates that on the middle of those narratives of go back and forth, conquest, and payment are compelling tales of ladies staff. whereas exploring the worldwide and political dimensions of neighborhood practices of gendered exertions, Chatterjee additionally displays at the privileges and paradoxes of her personal “decolonization” as a 3rd global feminist anthropologist. The booklet concludes with a longer mirrored image at the cultures of hierarchy, energy, and distinction within the plantation’s villages. It explores the overlapping procedures through which gender, caste, and ethnicity represent the interlocked patronage process of villages and their fields of work. The tropes of coercion, consent, and resistance are threaded in the course of the discussion.A Time for Tea will entice anthropologists and historians, South Asianists, and people attracted to colonialism, postcolonialism, hard work reviews, and comparative or foreign feminism.Designated a John desire Franklin heart booklet through the toilet desire Franklin Seminar crew on Race, faith, and Globalization.
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Extra resources for A Time for Tea: Women, Labor, and Post Colonial Politics on an Indian Plantation
Its popularity among the emerging middle class and a growing urban working class ensured further commercial expansion and demand. Cultural economies of consumption would push the mercantile and administrative impetus toward British plantation settlements in their Indian colony. Such a task would thus intricately connect the consuming histories of taste to the fruitful disciplines of colonial enterprise. Images of reﬁnement within metropolitan consumption in these tales of tea would then translate into a laboring cultivation on another imperial frontier: an imagined and actual wildness from which gardens of civilization were to be planted.
Certainly, the circulation of tea long antedates its entrance into the shipholds of sixteenth-century East India clipper ships. ), tea’s reputation as drink of ‘‘moderation’’ was already being forged. Indeed, the tight weave between the spiritual and the political, and the cosmologyof celestial and social order that would indelibly mark Confucian practice, became symbolized within rituals of tea drinking. Though idealized within the mannered rites of aristocratic consumption, the connection of tea making and drinking to the folk-religious practices of China’s villages cannot be underestimated.
Imperial desire was acted through the choreographies of leisure, through the rituals of timeless ease. Indeed, for what reason should man work? Notes Lu Yü: ‘‘It is only for ease and comfort that man works at things. He sequesters himself in a house. So the house he reﬁnes to the perfection of his own taste. The clothing he reﬁnes to perfection. 19 19:46 , A bright spotlight center stage in front of the muslin curtain. Two ﬁgures, a monk and a gorgeously dressed imperial ﬁgure in red and gold silk, arrive with trumpet soundings: the Emperor and the patron saint of tea, Lu Yü.