A Time for Tea: Women, Labor, and Post Colonial Politics on by Piya Chatterjee

By Piya Chatterjee

During this inventive, ethnographic, and ancient critique of work practices on an Indian plantation, Piya Chatterjee offers a worldly exam of the creation, intake, and move of tea. A Time for Tea finds how the feminine tea-pluckers obvious in advertisements—picturesque ladies in mist-shrouded fields—came to represent the center of colonialism in India. Chatterjee exposes how this snapshot has distracted from poor operating stipulations, low wages, and coercive exertions practices enforced by way of the patronage system.Allowing own, scholarly, and inventive voices to talk in flip and in tandem, Chatterjee discusses the fetishization of ladies who hard work 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 trip, conquest, and cost are compelling tales of girls employees. 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 international 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 strategies during 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 during the discussion.A Time for Tea will entice anthropologists and historians, South Asianists, and people drawn to colonialism, postcolonialism, hard work reports, and comparative or foreign feminism.Designated a John desire Franklin heart booklet by way of the toilet desire Franklin Seminar team 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

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John Gay and his sisters, women of means, thus take refreshment at their eighteenth-century tea table. They enact, for posterity, a ritual of genteel and feminized civility. The idealized spaces of domesticity are thus signified. Consider, for a moment, the illustration that is juxtaposed to this contained image of plentiful domesticity. Painted by the satirist William Hogarth in the mid-eighteenth century, Taste in High Life suggests an almost frenetic activity, cluttered with symbols of wealth and disorder.

She offers the cup to you, throwing it into bold relief. The other sister also holds a cup with precision. She sips. The man is framed within this feminine bounty. The effect is tranquil, leisured. John Gay and his sisters, women of means, thus take refreshment at their eighteenth-century tea table. They enact, for posterity, a ritual of genteel and feminized civility. The idealized spaces of domesticity are thus signified. Consider, for a moment, the illustration that is juxtaposed to this contained image of plentiful domesticity.

2 What a tea party this is, imbued with the overt symbols of political battle and the more hidden suggestions of a wildness to be imagined, appropriated, and conquered. Cultural refinement and political rebellion inform these tea parties, and the beverage—its leaf and liquid—becomes a medium through which the chronicles of global expansion and conquest can be told. Layered into these more visible political economies of European expansion are tales of imagination and desire that fed a burgeoning demand and sparked tea’s journey into the grandest parlors of Europe.

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