Research Journeys

There is currently happening much exciting historical research about commodities and their related worlds, and this section provides samples of this research as narrated by the authors themselves. These were originally collated on the AHRC-funded Commodity Histories website, now incorporated with Commodities of Empire. If you would like to contribute your own Research Journey here, then please contact Dr Jonathan Curry-Machado.

‘Cassava Spirit and the Seed of History: The biocultural history of a staple crop in Amazonian Guyana’. Lewis Daly on the biocultural history of a staple crop in Amazonian Guyana.

‘British visions of sugar-based industrialisation in the Caribbean’. Sabine Clarke on sugar, science and development in the British Caribbean in the 1940s.

Asbestos Communities‘. Jessica van Horssen speaks about the international and local dimensions of asbestos production.

‘Testimonies of a Dispossessed Culture’. Katerina Teaiwa on the human and ecological catastrophes of phosphate mining on Banaba Island.

‘Copper Ore: An unlikely global commodity’. Chris Evans and Olivia Saunders on the global significance of Welsh copper during the nineteenth century.

‘The Everyday Lives of Ancient Colombians’. Interview with Elisenda Vila Llonch, curator of ‘Beyond El Dorado’.

‘Disembodied Birds’. Natalie Lawrence on how sixteenth century Europeans made knowledge about Dodos and Birds of Paradise.

‘Exploring the historical geography of the Nilgiri cinchona plantations’. Lucy Veale explores the historical geography of the Nilgiri plantations in colonial south India.

‘Peanuts and economic dependence in French West Africa’. Daniel Castillo Hidalgo on peanut production and colonial rule in Senegal.

‘Threads of Empire’. Anna Arabindan-Kesson writes about her research on the visual economy of cotton in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean worlds.

‘The sugar industries of Cuba and Java’. Ulbe Bosma and Jonathan Curry-Machado consider the parallel trajectories of the Cuba and Java sugar industries.

‘Tasmanian Timbers’. Caroline Cornish on the significance of Tasmanian woods at the 1862 London Exhibition.