Karen Oslund, Niels Brimnes, Christina Folke Ax & Niklas Thode Jensen, eds.

Cultivating the Colony: Colonial States and their Environmental Legacies

Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011.

The essays collected in Cultivating the Colonies demonstrate how the relationship between colonial power and nature revealsthe nature of power. Each essay explores how colonial governments translated ideas about the management of exoticnature and foreign people into practice, and how they literally “got their hands dirty” in the business of empire.

The eleven essays include studies of animal husbandry in the Philippines, farming in Indochina, and indigenous medicine in India. They are global in scope, ranging from the Russian North to Mozambique, examining the consequences of colonialismon nature, including its impact on animals, fisheries, farmlands, medical practices, and even the diets of indigenouspeople.

Cultivating the Colonies establishes beyond all possible doubt the importance of the environment as a locus for studying the power of the colonial state.