Search results

The Empire of Clouds in north-east India

In 1841, the Welsh sent their first missionary, Thomas Jones, to evangelise the tribal peoples of the Khasi Hills of north-east India. This book follows Jones from rural Wales to Cherrapunji, the wettest place on earth and now one of the most Christianised parts of India. It is about the piety and practices, the perceptions and prejudices of people in early nineteenth century Wales. The book is also about the ways in which the religious ambitions of those same people operated upon the lives and ideas of indigenous societies of the distant Khasi Hills of north-eastern India. It foregrounds broader political, scientific, racial and military ideologies that mobilised the Khasi Hills into an interconnected network of imperial control. Its themes are universal: crises of authority, the loneliness of geographical isolation, sexual scandal, greed and exploitation, personal and institutional dogma, individual and group morality. In analysing the individual lives that flash in and out of this history, the book is a performance within the effort to break down the many dimensions of distance that the imperial scene prescribes. It pays attention to a 'networked conception of imperial interconnection'. The book discusses Jones's evangelising among the Khasis as well as his conflicts with church and state authority. It also discusses some aspects of the micro-politics of mission and state in the two decades immediately following Thomas Jones's death. While the Welsh missionary impact was significant, its 'success' or indeed its novelty, needs to be measured against the pre-existing activities of British imperialists.

Abstract only

influence; in Alan Lester’s terms, we need to pay attention to a ‘networked conception of imperial interconnection’. 34 In the scene changes and flashbacks, sideshows and recapitulations, I might run the danger of disorienting my reader. Yet I trust that such disruption, which is often the traveller’s most constant accessory, can be endured in order to appreciate the view after the final mountain ascent with

in Welsh missionaries and British imperialism
Abstract only
Medicine, mobility and the empire

organisations with strong interests dominate, formalise and limit patterns of interconnection. Potter argues that in the case of imperial mass media, there was a clear tendency towards systematisation. 12 While the connections and circulations discussed in this book do not fulfil the criteria of a ‘system’, Potter's point about tendencies towards systematisation in imperial interconnections is useful (and

in Medicine, mobility and the empire
The iconography of Anglo-American inter-imperialism

collaborative partners in the quest for global leadership. The iconography of inter-imperialism celebrated shared cultural and social interconnections and featured new hybrid symbols of Anglo-American global leadership (the subject of this chapter's closing section). The visual culture of collaborative global leadership may have cemented Anglo-American imperial interconnections, but it could destabilise them as well. The iconography of inter-imperialism also enabled American anti-imperialists to pursue a sustained attack on US expansion in the western hemisphere by employing

in Comic empires