Affective Counter Networks: Healing, Trade, and Indian Strategies of In/dependence in Early 'White Melbourne'

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Abstract

This article maps the in-situ affective strategies employed by Indian leaders to counter the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act, the legal cornerstone of the White Australia Policy. It explores how a masseur, Teepoo Hall, and a merchant, Khooda Bux, mobilised Indian trade networks at a time when British imperial networks were in complex tension with growing settler Australian and Indian projects of national independence. It does so by paying attention to the urban position of shop counters and massage benches: objects that brought strangers and acquaintances into relations economic and intimate, from where affect was produced and circulated. New imperial histories have privileged a wide-lens transnational frame. I argue that a determined focus on counters and benches—sites of bodily density that I term "clustering objects"—affords a closer view of the processes of networking and their spatial-affective dynamics. In fin-de-siècle Melbourne, counters were privileged sites where Indians and White settlers forged bonds that linked individuals to larger, transoceanic and anti-imperial networks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Affective
Melbourne
Healing
Settler
Immigration
In Situ
Stranger
Merchants
Trade Network
History
Economics
Acquaintance
Networking

Cite this

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title = "Affective Counter Networks: Healing, Trade, and Indian Strategies of In/dependence in Early 'White Melbourne'",
abstract = "This article maps the in-situ affective strategies employed by Indian leaders to counter the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act, the legal cornerstone of the White Australia Policy. It explores how a masseur, Teepoo Hall, and a merchant, Khooda Bux, mobilised Indian trade networks at a time when British imperial networks were in complex tension with growing settler Australian and Indian projects of national independence. It does so by paying attention to the urban position of shop counters and massage benches: objects that brought strangers and acquaintances into relations economic and intimate, from where affect was produced and circulated. New imperial histories have privileged a wide-lens transnational frame. I argue that a determined focus on counters and benches—sites of bodily density that I term {"}clustering objects{"}—affords a closer view of the processes of networking and their spatial-affective dynamics. In fin-de-si{\`e}cle Melbourne, counters were privileged sites where Indians and White settlers forged bonds that linked individuals to larger, transoceanic and anti-imperial networks.",
keywords = "Imperial networks, Indian nationalism, Colonial Medicine, Melbourne, Urban, Space, Trade, Race, Settler colonialism, White Australia Policy, Resistance, Colonial Australia",
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journal = "Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History",
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AB - This article maps the in-situ affective strategies employed by Indian leaders to counter the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act, the legal cornerstone of the White Australia Policy. It explores how a masseur, Teepoo Hall, and a merchant, Khooda Bux, mobilised Indian trade networks at a time when British imperial networks were in complex tension with growing settler Australian and Indian projects of national independence. It does so by paying attention to the urban position of shop counters and massage benches: objects that brought strangers and acquaintances into relations economic and intimate, from where affect was produced and circulated. New imperial histories have privileged a wide-lens transnational frame. I argue that a determined focus on counters and benches—sites of bodily density that I term "clustering objects"—affords a closer view of the processes of networking and their spatial-affective dynamics. In fin-de-siècle Melbourne, counters were privileged sites where Indians and White settlers forged bonds that linked individuals to larger, transoceanic and anti-imperial networks.

KW - Imperial networks

KW - Indian nationalism

KW - Colonial Medicine

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KW - Urban

KW - Space

KW - Trade

KW - Race

KW - Settler colonialism

KW - White Australia Policy

KW - Resistance

KW - Colonial Australia

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