Book ID: CBB316221240

The Alchemy of Empire: Abject Materials and the Technologies of Colonialism (2016)


Sudan, Rajani (Author)

Fordham University Press

Publication Date: 2016
Physical Details: 232
Language: English

Named 'Top 6' South Asia studies publications of 2016 by the British Association for South Asian StudiesThe Alchemy of Empire unravels the non-European origins of Enlightenment science. Focusing on the abject materials of empire-building, this study traces the genealogies of substances like mud, mortar, ice, and paper, as well as forms of knowledge like inoculation. Showing how East India Company employees deployed the paradigm of alchemy in order to make sense of the new worlds they confronted, Rajani Sudan argues that the Enlightenment was born largely out of Europe’s (and Britain’s) sense of insecurity and inferiority in the early modern world. Plumbing the depths of the imperial archive, Sudan uncovers the history of the British Enlightenment in the literary artifacts of the long eighteenth century, from the correspondence of the East India Company and the papers of the Royal Society to the poetry of Alexander Pope and the novels of Jane Austen.

Reviewed By

Review Michael Guenther (2017) Review of "The Alchemy of Empire: Abject Materials and the Technologies of Colonialism". Journal of Early Modern History (pp. 368-370). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Sarkar, Oyndrila
Brescius, Moritz von
Buchan, Bruce
Combe, Thomas
Arredondo, Jaime Marroquín
Ágoas, Frederico
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Journal of British Studies
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
University of Pennsylvania Press
University of Chicago Press
University of California Press
Univ. Chicago Press
Princeton University Press
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Great Britain, colonies
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Schlagintweit, Brothers
Humboldt, Alexander von
Glauber, Johann Rudolph
Cook, James
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
Early modern
18th century
20th century, early
South Africa
Great Britain
South Asia
East India Company (English)
Royal Society of London

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