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Cambridge University Press
Rice: Global Networks and New Histories

Rice: Global Networks and New Histories

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Rice today is food to half the world's population. Its history is inextricably entangled with the emergence of colonialism, the global networks of industrial capitalism, and the modern world economy. The history of rice is currently a vital and innovative field of research attracting serious attention, but no attempt has yet been made to write a history of rice and its place in the rise of capitalism from a global and comparative perspective. Rice is a first step toward such a history. The fifteen chapters, written by specialists on Africa, the Americas, and several regions of Asia, are premised on the utility of a truly international approach to history. Each one brings a new approach that unsettles prevailing narratives and suggests new connections. Together they cast new light on the significant roles of rice as crop, food, and commodity and shape historical trajectories and interregional linkages in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107044395
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/19/2015
Pages: 446
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.09(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Francesca Bray is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of The Rice Economies: Technology and Development in Asian Societies (1994), Technology and Gender: Fabrics of Power in Late Imperial China (1997), Technology and Society in Ming China, 1368-1644 (2000), and Technology, Gender and History in Imperial China: Great Transformations Reconsidered (2013).

Peter A. Coclanis is Albert R. Newsome Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is the author of The Shadow of a Dream: Economic Life and Death in the South Carolina Low Country, 1670-1920 (1989) and Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle: Globalization in South East Asia over la Longue Durée (2006), and the co-editor of Environmental Change and Agricultural Sustainability in the Mekong Delta (with Mart A. Stewart, 2011).

Edda L. Fields-Black is Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania. She is the author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (2008).

Dagmar Schaefer is director of the Centre for Chinese Studies and Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. She is the author of The Emperor's Silk Clothes: State-Run Silk Manufacturing in the Ming Period, 1368-1644 (1998) and The Crafting of the 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in 17th-Century China (2011), and the co-author of Weaving an Economic Pattern in Ming Times, 1368-1644 (with Dieter Kuhn, 2002).

Table of Contents

Foreword Giorgio Riello; Preface: global networks and new histories of rice Francesca Bray; Part I. Purity and Promiscuity: Introduction Francesca Bray; 1. Global visions vs local complexity: experts wrestle with the problem of development Jonathan Harwood; 2. Rice, sugar, and livestock in Java, 1820-1940: Geertz's Agricultural Involution 50 years on Peter Boomgaard and Pieter M. Kroonenberg; 3. A desire to eat well: rice and the market in eighteenth-century China Sui-wai Cheung; 4. Rice and maritime modernity: the modern Chinese state and the South China Sea rice trade Seung-Joon Lee; 5. Promiscuous transmission and encapsulated knowledge: a material-semiotic approach to modern rice in the Mekong David Biggs; 6. Red and white rice in the vicinity of Sierra Leone: linked histories of slavery, emancipation and seed selection Bruce Mouser, Edwin Nuijten, Florent Okry and Paul Richards; Part II. Environmental Matters: Introduction Edda Fields-Black; 7. Rice on the Upper Guinea Coast: a regional perspective based on interdisciplinary sources and methods Edda Fields-Black; 8. Reserving water: environmental and technological relationships with colonial South Carolina inland rice plantations Hayden Smith; 9. Asian rice in Africa: plant genetics and crop history Erik Gilbert; 10. When Jola granaries were full Olga F. Linares; 11. Of health and harvests: seasonal mortality and commercial rice cultivation in the Punjab and Bengal regions of South Asia Lauren Minsky; Part III. Power and Control: Introduction Peter Coclanis; 12. The cultural meaning of work: the 'Black Rice Debate' reconsidered Walter Hawthorne; 13. White rice: the Midwestern origins of the modern rice industry in the United States Peter Coclanis; 14. Rice and the path of economic development in Japan Penelope Francks; 15. Commodities and anti-commodities: rice on Sumatra 1915-25 Harro Maat; Index; Bibliography.

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