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Madness, Cannabis and Colonialism
 
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Madness, Cannabis and Colonialism
The 'Native Only' Lunatic Asylums of British India 1857-1900
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
11 Jul 2000
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£100.00
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9780333793343
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This fascinating, entertaining and often gruelling book by James Mills examines the lunatic asylums set up by the British in nineteenth-century India to house the mad from among the local population. The author traces the growth in the asylum system which followed the Indian uprising of 1857 and asserts that this was fuelled by a British fear of itinerant and dangerous Indians. Once established, however, these asylums, staffed by Indians and populated by Indians, quickly became arenas where the designs of the British were contested and confronted.

In examining some of the stories from within the walls of the institutions, Mills argues that the 'madness' of the colonial asylums can be seen as both a challenge by the powerless of nineteenth-century India and as a source of insight into current debates about power, resistance and agency. This work draws on official archives in Scotland, England and India, and is essential reading for all those interested in social history or sociology or who have a general interest in either colonialism or the medical past


Description

This fascinating, entertaining and often gruelling book by James Mills examines the lunatic asylums set up by the British in nineteenth-century India to house the mad from among the local population. The author traces the growth in the asylum system which followed the Indian uprising of 1857 and asserts that this was fuelled by a British fear of itinerant and dangerous Indians. Once established, however, these asylums, staffed by Indians and populated by Indians, quickly became arenas where the designs of the British were contested and confronted.

In examining some of the stories from within the walls of the institutions, Mills argues that the 'madness' of the colonial asylums can be seen as both a challenge by the powerless of nineteenth-century India and as a source of insight into current debates about power, resistance and agency. This work draws on official archives in Scotland, England and India, and is essential reading for all those interested in social history or sociology or who have a general interest in either colonialism or the medical past


Reviews

'...the book benefits from its sophisticated examination of knowledge, power and agency.' - Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History


Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Note on Sources
Introduction
The Asylum Archive: The Production of Knowledge at the Colonial Asylum
The Lunatic Asylums of India are Filled with Ganja Smokers: Asylum Knowledge as Colonial Knowledge
Disciplining Populations: British Admissions to 'Native Only' Lunatic Asylums
Disciplining Individuals: Treatment Regimes Inside 'Native Only' Lunatic Asylums
Indians into Asylums: Local Communities and the Medical Institution
Indians Inside Asylums: Staff, Patients and Power
Conclusion: Knowledge, Power and Agency
Appendix : Asylums Operating in the Period 1857-1880
Notes
Bibliography
Index


Authors

JAMES MILLS is Lecturer in Modern History at University College Northampton. He is the author of a range of scholarly articles on the social history of medicine in colonial contexts. In 1999 he was awarded a British Academy post-doctoral grant and began work in India at the invitation of the University of Delhi on a new project on the Indian experience of shell-shock in the First World War.