Oxford Handbook of Commodity History

Edited by Jonathan Curry-Machado, Jean Stubbs, William Gervase Clarence-Smith and Jelmer Vos. Published by Oxford University Press, 2024.

Commodities provide a lens through which local and global histories can be understood and written. The study of commodity history follows these goods as they make their way from land and water through processing and trade to eventual consumption. It is a fast-developing field with collaborative, comparative and interdisciplinary research, with new information technologies becoming increasingly important. Although many individual researchers continue to focus on particular commodities and regions, they often do so in partnership with others working on different areas and employing a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, placing commodity history at the forefront of local and global historical analysis.

This Oxford Handbook features contributions from scholars involved in these developments across a reange of countries and linguistic regions. They discuss the state of the art in their fields, draw on their own work, and signal lacunae for future research. Each of its chapters focuses on an important thematic area within commodities history. Taken together, the Oxford Handbook of Commodity History offers insights into the directions in which commodities history is heading, and the multiple ways in which it can contribute to a better understanding of the world.

The Handbook is available for purchase from OUP with a 30% discount with the attached flyer.

It is also available on-line here.


Curry-Machado & Stubbs on Commodity History

Part One: Approaches

Ciccantell, Smith & Topik on Commodity Chains

Ruf, Ollendorf & Uribe Leitz on Approches Filieres

Hazareesingh & Maat on Anti-commodities and Food

Bosma & Vanhaute on Commodity Frontiers

Part Two: Global Histories

Faroqhi on Early Modern Commodity Routes

Antunes & Vos on Port Cities and Commodities

Luxán Meléndez, Fiueiroa-Rego, Sanz Rozalén & Stubbs on Commodities and Imperial History

Engel on Futures Trading

Dietrich on Socialist Commodities

Part Three: Methods of Production

Marques on Mining Frontiers

Pretel on The Technological History of Global Commodities

Nadri on Plantations and Commdities

Robins on Primary Commodities and Industrial Consumers

Part Four: People and Land

Zeuske on Migration, Slavery, and Commodification

Hofmeester on Labour as a Commodity

Cottyn on Land-Rights Commodification

Fernández-Prieto on The Circuits of Knowledge

Part Five: Environments

Joseph on Territorial Mapping and Frontier Zones

Chambouleyron, Fischer & Arenz on Land Use and Commodities

Ross on Commodities, Trade, and Ecological Transformation

Brooke, Herschthal & Kaplan on Commodities and Climate

Part Six: Commodities and Consumption

Cowie on Animals as Commodities

Madancy on Drug Histories

Zanoni on Culinary Commodities

Mullins on Historical Archaeologies of Commodities

Part Seven: Methodologies

Arabindan-Kesson on the Visual Life of Commodities

Van Erp & Bosma on Computational Methods for the History of Commodities

Clifford, MacFadyen & Castonguay on Mapping Commodity Histories

Crespo-Solana on Commodities, Interdisciplinarity, & Historical GIS


Clarence-Smith & Vos on a Multi-centered Approach to Commodity History