Author Biography

Jayeeta Sharma is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Her book Empire’s Garden: Assam and the Making of India appeared in 2011 from Duke University Press. Her book manuscript focuses on intimacies and circulation across the Eastern Himalayas. She is the founder of the Eastern Himalaya Research Network that nurtures research partnerships involving academics, junior scholars, and public intellectuals such as the Darjeeling Sherpa oral history digital archive she is creating in collaboration with the Himalayan Club’s Project Sherpa. She is part of the City Foods: People on the Move project on global food and mobility.

Abstract

This article explores the social production of Darjeeling through the social and cultural encounters that helped transform a mountain health resort for colonial functionaries into a vibrant Himalayan hub for vernacular modernity and local cosmopolitanism. While Darjeeling’s high-altitude setting inextricably linked it to the intense exploitation of subaltern bodies, it evolved as a dynamic urban locality that offered mobile individuals and groups the opportunity to seek out new livelihoods and realize modernistic aspirations in a transcultural setting.

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