A Cultural History of Famine: Food Security and the Environment in India and Britain, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A Cultural History of Famine

Food Security and the Environment in India and Britain, 1st Edition

Edited by Ayesha Mukherjee

Routledge

228 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-01-15
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Description

The term "food security" does not immediately signal research done in humanities disciplines. It refers to a complex, contested issue, whose currency and significance are hardly debatable given present concerns about environmental change, resource management, and sustainability.

The subject is thus largely studied within science and social science disciplines in current or very recent historical contexts. This book brings together perspectives on food security and related environmental concerns from experts in the disciplines of literary studies, history, science, and social sciences. It allows readers to compare past and contemporary attitudes towards the issues in India and Britain – the economic, social, and environmental histories of these two nations have been closely connected ever since British travellers began to visit India in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The chapters in this book discuss themes such as climate, harvest failure, trade, technological improvements, transport networks, charity measures, and popular protest, which affected food security in both countries from the seventeenth century onwards. The authors cover a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, and their chapters allow readers to understand and compare different methodologies as well as different contexts of time and place relevant to the topic.

This book will be of great interest to students and researchers of economic and social history, environmental history, literary studies, and South Asian studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Cultural History of Famine Ayesha Mukherjee

1. Famine and Food Security in Early Modern England: Popular Agency and the Politics of Dearth John Walter

2. Subsistence Crises and Economic history: A Study of Eighteenth Century Bengal Rajat Datta

3. Climate Signals, Environment, and Livelihoods in the Long Seventeenth Century in India Vinita Damodaran, James Hamilton, and Rob Allan

4. Famine Chorography: Peter Mundy and the Gujarat famine, 1630-32 Ayesha Mukherjee

5. Rivers, Inundations, and Grain Scarcity in Early Colonial Bengal Ujjayan Bhattacharya

6. Chaotic Interruptions in the Economy: Droughts, Hurricanes and Monsoons in Harriet Martineau’s Illustrations of Political Economy Lesa Scholl

7. Poorhouses and Gratuitous Famine Relief in Colonial North India Sanjay Sharma

8. Farming Tales: Narratives of Farming and Food Security in Mid-twentieth Century Britain Michael Winter

9. The Economy of Hunger: Representing the Bengal Famine of 1943 Amlan Das Gupta

10. Are We Performing Dearth or Is Dearth Performing Us, in Modern Productions of William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus? Julie Hudson

About the Editor

Ayesha Mukherjee is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Exeter, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (Rebecca.Brennan@tandf.co.uk), to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Deborah Bird Rose, University of New South Wales, Australia, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS072000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POL044000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy