• Cloth: $94.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4788-0
  • Paperback: $25.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4802-3
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknoledgments

    Introduction

    1. Disgust: Food, Filth, and Anglo-Indian Flesh in 1857

    2. Abstinence: Manifestos on Meat and Masculinity

    3. Dearth: Figures of Famine

    Appetite: Spices Redux

    Remains: A Coda

    Notes

    Selected Bibliography

    Index
  • “[A]n unusual but much-needed approach to such extraordinary phenomena as the 'greased cartridges' (i.e., ones lubricated with beef and pork fat) and legendary 'migratory chapati[s]' that figure largely in histories of the Sepoy Rebellion (1857) (p. 31). This finely written book draws our attention to other food-related episodes in the history of Indian nationalist resistance, such as Mahatma Gandhi’s discovery of a vegetarian restaurant in London.”

    “If ever a work took seriously Jacques Derrida’s insistence that we must understand eating as an act through which we both consume and are consumed, it is Parama Roy’s remarkable new book, Alimentary Tracts.”

    “Roy’s beautifully produced book looks at writing since the mid-nineteenth century to argue that food, its production, consumption and rejection, are key to an understanding, and rethinking, of wider processes of colonization, decolonization and globalization…. [Her] account is commendable for the extent to which it manages to combine theoretical sophistication with precise historical detail…. It is Roy’s incisive precision, and her embodied understanding of eating that ultimately ensures the broader abstractions of her thesis are by turns convincing and compelling.”

    “The book that results…is a historically dense, fluidly metacritical, lucidly theorized and exquisitely written meditation on eating as a poetic and political practice in South Asia and its diaspora from the mid-1800s to the present – one that would be of equal interest to postcolonial and literary scholars, as well as to interlocutors of the emerging areas of critical animal studies, posthumanities and food studies.”

    "Alimentary Tracts is a rich, theoretically engaging, and wide-ranging survey of the gustatory's significance to Anglo-Indian relations, as well as to the reception of Indian cuisines inside and outside the subcontinent and among non-Indians and Indians in the diaspora. Building on the work of Arjun Appadurai and others, [Roy] convincingly argues that a notion of what constitutes Indian food has provided the English-speaking elite in India and people of Indian origin outside of it with some building blocks of nationality."

    "Parama Roy’s extraordinary study of the culinary in modern Indian history and literature is among the finest in the burgeoning fields of food studies to systematically question how modes of consumption, patterns of commensality and culinary matters are central to understanding the emergence of the modern nation-state.... A wonderfully detailed study that considered a range of Indian colonial and postcolonial texts spanning short stories, cookbooks, memoirs and novels, this work will be useful to historians interested in examining the multiple meanings that can arise from the use of culinary rhetoric in historical contexts." 

    Reviews

  • “[A]n unusual but much-needed approach to such extraordinary phenomena as the 'greased cartridges' (i.e., ones lubricated with beef and pork fat) and legendary 'migratory chapati[s]' that figure largely in histories of the Sepoy Rebellion (1857) (p. 31). This finely written book draws our attention to other food-related episodes in the history of Indian nationalist resistance, such as Mahatma Gandhi’s discovery of a vegetarian restaurant in London.”

    “If ever a work took seriously Jacques Derrida’s insistence that we must understand eating as an act through which we both consume and are consumed, it is Parama Roy’s remarkable new book, Alimentary Tracts.”

    “Roy’s beautifully produced book looks at writing since the mid-nineteenth century to argue that food, its production, consumption and rejection, are key to an understanding, and rethinking, of wider processes of colonization, decolonization and globalization…. [Her] account is commendable for the extent to which it manages to combine theoretical sophistication with precise historical detail…. It is Roy’s incisive precision, and her embodied understanding of eating that ultimately ensures the broader abstractions of her thesis are by turns convincing and compelling.”

    “The book that results…is a historically dense, fluidly metacritical, lucidly theorized and exquisitely written meditation on eating as a poetic and political practice in South Asia and its diaspora from the mid-1800s to the present – one that would be of equal interest to postcolonial and literary scholars, as well as to interlocutors of the emerging areas of critical animal studies, posthumanities and food studies.”

    "Alimentary Tracts is a rich, theoretically engaging, and wide-ranging survey of the gustatory's significance to Anglo-Indian relations, as well as to the reception of Indian cuisines inside and outside the subcontinent and among non-Indians and Indians in the diaspora. Building on the work of Arjun Appadurai and others, [Roy] convincingly argues that a notion of what constitutes Indian food has provided the English-speaking elite in India and people of Indian origin outside of it with some building blocks of nationality."

    "Parama Roy’s extraordinary study of the culinary in modern Indian history and literature is among the finest in the burgeoning fields of food studies to systematically question how modes of consumption, patterns of commensality and culinary matters are central to understanding the emergence of the modern nation-state.... A wonderfully detailed study that considered a range of Indian colonial and postcolonial texts spanning short stories, cookbooks, memoirs and novels, this work will be useful to historians interested in examining the multiple meanings that can arise from the use of culinary rhetoric in historical contexts." 

  • “This splendid book uses ideas about food, fasting, and famine to explore the Indian colonial sensorium in a truly original manner. It should be of great interest to historians of colonialism, of cuisine, and of the affective practices through which the colony—and the postcolony—produce their effects. It is beautifully and forcefully written, thus itself a sensory bonus for the reader.” — Arjun Appadurai, New York University

    “While Swami Vivekananda suggested that Indians needed ‘beef, biceps, and Bhagvadgita’ to overthrow the British, Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated that vegetarianism, abstinence, and nonviolent protest were the more appropriate practices for a spiritualized Indian national movement. By revealing the agency of gastropoetics and gastropolitics throughout modern South Asian history, Parama Roy brilliantly interrogates disgust, abstinence, dearth, and appetite as ‘biomoral’ categories that transformed traditional vectors of cultural analysis and social action. Roy’s book is, unsurprisingly, great food for thought. It yields exquisite morsels alongside an intellectual savoring of all those gastronomic staples that resonate throughout history and literature. Did chapatis leaven the Mutiny? How did salt marinate the satyagraha? And why does the diaspora crave chutney and spices?” — Srinivas Aravamudan, author of Guru English: South Asian Religion in a Cosmopolitan Language

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In Alimentary Tracts Parama Roy argues that who eats and with whom, who starves, and what is rejected as food are questions fundamental to empire, decolonization, and globalization. In crucial ways, she suggests, colonialism reconfigured the sensorium of colonizer and colonized, generating novel experiences of desire, taste, and appetite as well as new technologies of the embodied self. For colonizers, Indian nationalists, diasporic persons, and others in the colonial and postcolonial world orders, the alimentary tract functioned as an important corporeal, psychoaffective, and ethicopolitical contact zone, in which questions of identification, desire, difference, and responsibility were staged.

    Interpreting texts that have addressed cooking, dining, taste, hungers, excesses, and aversions in South Asia and its diaspora since the mid-nineteenth century, Roy relates historical events and literary figures to tropes of disgust, abstention, dearth, and appetite. She analyzes the fears of pollution and deprivation conveyed in British accounts of the so-called Mutiny of 1857, complicates understandings of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s vegetarianism, examines the “famine fictions” of the novelist-actor Mahasweta Devi, and reflects on the diasporic cookbooks and screen performances of Madhur Jaffrey. This account of richly visceral global modernity furnishes readers with a new idiom for understanding historical action and cultural transformation.

    About The Author(s)

    Parama Roy is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Indian Traffic: Identities in Question in Colonial and Postcolonial India and an editor of States of Trauma: Gender and Violence in South Asia.

Spring 2017
Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu