Research

cropped-35126882751_6f41872f36_k.jpgI am currently working on a book manuscript entitled “All Flesh Is Grass: An Eco-Agrarian History of Britain’s Settler Empire,” which follows the journey of European grasses and fodder crops to and across British settlements in New South Wales (Australia), the Cape Colony (South Africa), Sierra Leone, and New Zealand in the long nineteenth century. The story of traveling grass is a story that links the political ambitions and ideological underpinnings of an expanding Empire to the lives of settlers and subjects in agrarian spaces across the globe to the often microscopic ecological processes in fields, forest, pastures, and paddocks. “All Flesh Is Grass” utilizes a new eco-agrarian approach to the history of the British Empire, connecting the ecology of the field, the economy of the farm, and the social politics of farming to the constantly shifting ideologies of imperialism.  This provides the conceptual foundation for a new history of the British Empire that considers the political, intellectual, and economic development of the empire alongside its climatic, geological, and biological frameworks.  It is a history that merges the often disparate methodologies of environmental history, history of science, and agrarian studies to examine to examine the myriad of factors (climate, soil, waterscapes, biological processes, technology, distance, indigenous encounters, racial ideologies, land policy, political economy) that shaped agrarian expansion in this period. I am also incorporating methodologies from the environmental sciences, specifically paleoecology, paleoclimatology, and GIS analysis, into my own research to enrich the “archive” of human/environment interactions in both the deep and recent past.

Archives

UK
The National Archives and Public Record Office (Kew, London)
The Royal Botanic Garden at Kew
The Museum of Natural History (London)
The British Library (London)
The Linnaean Society Archives (London)
The Museum of English Rural Life (Reading)
The National Archives of Scotland (Edinburgh)
The National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh)
African and Commonwealth Library at Rhodes College, Oxford (now housed in the Weston Library)
Senate House Library Special Collections (University of London)

Australia
The State Library of New South Wales/Mitchell Library (Sydney)
State Archives and Records Authority (Kingswood, NSW)
The Royal Botanic Garden at Sydney
Caroline Simpson Library (Sydney)

South Africa
The National Library of South Africa (Cape Town)
Western Cape Provincial Archives and Record Service (Cape Town)
University of Cape Town Special Collections

New Zealand
The National Library of New Zealand (Wellington)
Archives New Zealand (Wellington)
Te Papa Tongarewa/Museum of New Zealand Library (Wellington)

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