Conference:”Raw and Refined: Commodities, Processing, and Global Perspectives”

‘The Raw and the Refined: Commodities, Processing, and Power in Global Perspective’ – Keynote Lecture Date2 September 2021, 4.30pm – 5.30pm Keynote Lecture for the 2021 Commodities of Empire Workshop ‘The Raw and the Refined: Commodities, Processing, and Power in Global Perspective’ Visit this link to register for the public keynote presented by Dr. Erika Rappaport titled “Tate andContinue reading “Conference:”Raw and Refined: Commodities, Processing, and Global Perspectives””

Palm oil and soap marketing

This image didn’t make the cut for Oil Palm: a Global History, but it’s remarkable for three reasons. First, it actually (or at least attempts to) depicts a West African person. Most Palmolive advertising pointed to a fictive Egyptian origin for palm oil, erasing West Africans from the commodity chain (see ad at bottom ofContinue reading “Palm oil and soap marketing”

Oil Palm: a Global History coming June 2021

My new book on the global history of the oil palm industry has a cover and a release date! Look for it in June 2021, from the University of North Carolina Press. Preorder now to take advantage of a 40% discount off the list price! Tracing the history of the oil palm tree out ofContinue reading “Oil Palm: a Global History coming June 2021”

ASEH 2018 twitter presentation on oil palm in Asia

The graduate student caucus of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) organized a pre-conference on twitter to highlight academic contributions at the conference, and to provide an opportunity for those unable to travel to Riverside, CA to participate by sharing their own work and commenting on presentations. I was fortunate to be able toContinue reading “ASEH 2018 twitter presentation on oil palm in Asia”

“Not a blade of grass left standing”

“Not a blade of grass left standing.” This wasn’t a  description of an environmental calamity, but rather the sales pitch for Gramevin, the trade name for a herbicide sold by Shell Chemicals. Commercial plantations in Southeast Asia were the target audience, and the grass in  question–lalang (Imperata cylindrica)–was a constant enemy of planters. The grassContinue reading ““Not a blade of grass left standing””