Bringing India to Form: Hatano Uho and the Indian Rebellion of 1857

By Aaron Peters During the Asia-Pacific War (1937-1945) as Japan was extending its wartime empire across China and Southeast Asia to the borders of British India, a Japanese-language history of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 was published in May 1942 under the title, “India’s Independence War” (Indo dokuritsu sensō, 印度独立戦争). Its author was a man […]

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South Asian Indentured Labour

By Maureen McCord Why did so many South Asians, in the early years of the nineteenth century, choose to become indentured laborers, signing five years of their lives away to work on sugar plantations in Mauritius? Previous work on the earliest years of Indian indentured labor—a labor practice which eventually spread from this small Mascarene […]

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Double Trouble: Historicizing “Locusts” in the Vocabulary of Disease Discourse from Cholera to COVID-19

By Pallavi Das At the close of 2019, when the world was preparing to ring in the new year, two scourges were preparing to intensify their impact upon the world. On one hand, was the novel coronavirus that was wreaking havoc in China. On the other, was the locust infestation that had been plaguing the […]

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The Pariah and the Jew: A Comparative History

By Ankit Kawade Max Weber begins his treatise Ancient Judaism with the following comparativist premise: “The problem of ancient Jewry, although unique in the socio-historical study of religion, can best be understood in comparison with the problem of the Indian caste order.”[1] Weber’s premise of studying Jewish religious history in comparison with the caste order […]

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility (and Great Reward): British Approaches to Famine Relief in Bengal and Asia Minor, 1873-75.

By Emma Wordsworth Food, despite being both a biological necessity and a symbolic cultural touchstone, has only recently been recognised as a major historical force. As historian David Arnold persuasively argued in 1988, “food was, and continues to be, power in a most basic, tangible, and inescapable form”.[1] Certainly, in the early 1870s, the issue […]

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