Tobacco Talk: Critique and Colonialism

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Those, who deliberately inhale this noxious poison, are not putting their talents out to the best advantage, nor are they faithful servants of their Heavenly Master. So much might be said in condemnation of the impure and baneful practice of smoking, that an attempt to grasp the whole subject, would far exceed the limits of this simple Essay. 

“Smoke Not” an Essay by Miss E. S. C of the British Anti-Tobacco Society (1856)

Do you like taking texts apart and examining their inconsistencies to uncover hidden motives? Do you want to look for ways that class structures the figure of tobacco in a text or how hidden gender norms are reenforced or disrupted by a character smoking? Then this is the talk for you! This week my students in my honors class are exploring how to read with the hermeneutics of suspicion.



Further Reading and Resources

Here’s an engaging conversation that manages to both critique and generously explain Paul Ricoeur’s “school of suspicion” further.

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