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Past Events

Lecture on 'Palampores, Porcelain and Paper'

Helen Clifford giving a lecture on 'Palampores, Porcelain and Paper' to the Dalton and Gayles Local History Group on 16th May 2014, connecting her work for the Trading Eurasia project with a local audience.

Many East India Company connections emerged, including one member of the audience related to Thomas Coutts the banker, whose Chinese wallpaper survives, now in Coutts Bank London.


Workshop ‘The Geography of Luxury: East, West and Global Directions’

MB Luxury Conf.

University of Warwick, 7-9 May 2014

Maxine Berg delivered a keynote address at the Luxury Network’s third workshop on the topic of ‘The Geography of Luxury: East, West and Global Directions’. The event, organised by Giorgio Riello and Rosa Salzberg from the Global History and Culture Centre and and Qing Wang from the Warwick Business School, spanned three days and hosted speakers from all over the world with backgrounds in History, Business Economics, Art and Architecture, the creative sector, journalism, and the business world. It included several sessions dedicated to the comparative study of early modern sumptuary legislation, a postgraduate workshop, as well as sessions on ‘The Materiality of Luxury Across Cultures’, ‘Luxury and Cosmopolitan Consumers’, ‘The Business of Luxury in a Global Perspective’, ‘Luxury Brands and Global Competition’, and ‘The Britishness of British Luxury’. Maxine Berg’s keynote, ‘The Merest Shadows of a Commodity’: Asian Luxury Goods in Early Modern Europe’ gave a long view of Dhaka’s global textile manufacture, from the production of the world’s finest muslins in the early modern period, to the changes with British rule and European industrialisation, and Bangladesh’s new manufacturing ascendency, which saw the dramatic Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013.

  For a full programme of the event please click here:

Society for French Historical Studies Annual Conference 2014: 24-26 April

Felicia Gottmann presented her research at this year’s Society for French Historical Studies Annual Conference. In a session entitled ‘Les relations de la France avec l'Orient aux 17e et 18e siècles’ she gave a paper on the topic of ‘Illicit Consumption, Smuggling, and the French State: Toiles Peintes and Asian Textiles 1680-1760’. Chaired by Nicholas Dew of McGill University, the panel also included Massimiliano Vaghi from the University of Milan (‘Paris 1763, «la paix la plus honteuse qu’eut signée la France depuis le traité de Bretigny». Les élites françaises face à la perte de l’Inde (1763-1783)) and Irini Apostolou from the University of Athens (‘Les Antiquaires français et le voyage en Méditerranée orientale XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles’).


Economic History Society Annual Conference 2014: 28-30 March

The project team made a strong appearance at the Economic History Society Annual Conference which was held at Warwick University in March.

Chris Nierstrasz organised a panel on the topic of ‘Companies and the State’, chaired by Maxine Berg, which included papers by Chris himself (A strange thirst for tea: East India Companies, private trade, smuggling and the popularisation of the consumption of tea in Western Europe, 1700-60), by Santhi Hejeebu from Cornell College (Managerial sway within the English East India Company), and by Leos Müller from Stockholm University (The business strategy of an interloper: The Swedish East India Company 1731-83).

Hanna Hodacs also organised a panel at which she herself presented. Dedicated to ‘Silk’ and chaired by Giorgio Riello, it included next to Hanna’s own (Asian silk in eighteenth-century Scandinavia: quantities, colour schemes and impact) papers by Ben Marsh from the University of Stirling (‘The silk manufacture has a claim to particular attention’: silk consumption and the American Revolution) and by William Farrell of Birkbeck College, University of London (Smuggling silks in eighteenth-century Britain: supply, distribution and product design).

Maxine Berg also presented on Skill, craft and histories of industrialisation in Europe and Asia in a session chaired by Pat Thane (King’s College London), whilst Meike Fellinger spoke at the New Researchers’ session on The principal-agent problem revisited: supercargoes and commanders of the China trade.

The full programme is available here:

Meeting with Dr Miyase Koyuncu Kaya

Dr Maxine Berg had a meeting with Dr Miyase Koyuncu on 12 December 2013 at the University of Warwick. Dr Miyase Koyuncu Kaya is a visiting Academic in the Global History and Culture Centre, researching “British tradesmen in Smyrna as a global city in Ottoman lands in late 18th century." She has aimed to take a snapshot of life, experiences, perceptions of British merchants in an Ottoman port city, Smyrna/Izmir in late 18th century. Her purpose is to investigate micro history of a group of British expatriates in a Ottoman port city and to understand their relations with Ottoman governors, local men, their perception of Turkish life style, Ottoman culture and statecraft.

photo with miyase



Workshop with Dr Paul Van dyke from Sun Yat-sen University

10 September 2013, Balliol College, Oxford

Maxine Berg and the team had one-day workshop with Dr Paul Van Dyke, Oxford, 10th of September;This event involved two of the post docs and two PhD Students presenting their work to Paul Van Dyke, Department of History, Sun Yat-sen University. Van Dyke worked extensively for many years with source material relating to Canton and Macau, in China and in the archives of the different East India Companies. Through this work he has gained detailed insights on how the China trade was organized. In this session he was able to discuss detailed questions and issues relating to this trade, as well provide guidance on in which archive relevant material can be found.

'Political Economy and Empire in the Early Modern World' conference & 'The Companies: Continuity, Transition or Disjuncture?' workshop, Yale University

2-5 May 2013

Maxine Berg and the team presented a paper on the East India companies and private trade at two events in Yale in May 2013. The first event was a conference on early modern economy and empire hosted by Steven Pincus (and Yale University's Transatlantic Political Cultures Working Group & Transitions to Modernity Colloquium), the second a workshop on the East India companies, arrange by Jula Adams and Emily Erikson (historical sociology). The individual projects of the different members of the team were also discussed at the latter event. End of conference picture Yale

Trading Knowledge - British Library visit

14 March 2013

Team members Felicia Gottmann, Chris Nierstrasz, Hanna Hodacs, Meike Fellinger and Helen Clifford attended an afternoon event in collaboration with the British Library and the East India Company at Home project, based at UCL. The journey of a single East India Company ship was tracked using all available documents held by the British Library, and a discussion followed on different ways of interpreting the material.

Oral History Project - Trip to India

8 - 17 February 2013

Maxine Berg along with team members Helen Clifford and Tim Davies visited India in February 2013. Accompanied by Rosemary Crill (South Asia Textiles Curator, Victoria & Albert Museum), Anne Gerritsen (Director of the Global History & Culture Centre at Warwick University) and Kristine Bruland (Oslo University and external adviser to project) they spent an action-packed week presenting the Oral History Project to a wider Indian academic audience and to the crafts communities they have been working with.

The team were met by a very warm reception in Mumbai at the Bombay Yacht Club and at events held in Ahmedabad at the Arts Reverie and the National Insititute of Design, as well as an event in Bhuj itself with the new University of Kaachch. They became local celebrities for the day with considerable press coverage and even a couple of appearances on local television! For more info please visit the project pages here.


Team in india  bandhani.jpg


Visit by Lisa Hellmann (Stockholm University)

6th February 2013

On 6th February 2013 Lisa Hellmann who was in the UK on an exchange at Oxford from Stockholm University visited the team. Lisa is just completing her PhD on research which has been looking across the European East India Company's activities in Canton with a particular focus on the Swedish Company. She has been looking at aspects of gender and cultural aspects on the encounters of the individuals involved and found much in common with our project team- it is a shame there were not more hours in the afterrnoon! Lisa hellmann

Conference- "Goods from the East: Trading Eurasia 1600-1830"

11 - 13 January 2013

conference group

Held at the Warwick in Venice Palazzo Papafava. Click here for the conference webpage.

The conference brought together scholars from across the globe who are addressing Europe's trade in and consumption of fine manufactured goods from China and India over this period. Its key aim was to connect and compare research on all of Europe's East India Companies as well as the private and privilege trade which brought these goods to Europe. Together we discussed how these goods were ordered, how they were designed and made, and how they were sold and distributed in Europe.

A proposal for an edited volume is now in progress resulting from this very successful conference.

The keynote speaker was Professor Jan de Vries (Berkeley).


Global Commodities Network: The Material Culture of Early Modern Connections 1400-1800

12 - 14 December 2012

The Europe's Asian Centuries project is delighted to have supported the final event in the AHRC network on Global Commodities which will be held at Warwick University this December. For more information see GHCC pages here.

Visit by Douglas Haynes (Dartmouth)

10 December 2012

Douglas Haynes visiting the project team in Warwick for an intimate discussion on his recent book "Small Town Capitalism in Western India: Artisans, Merchants and the Making of the Informal Economy, 1870-1960" resulting in much cross-fertilisation of ideas.

Visit by Professor Jan de Vries (Berkeley)

25 October 2012

The team were privileged to be able to present current research findings to Professor Jan de Vries prompting lively discussion and gaining valuable feedback.


Swaledale and the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

29 June - 1 July 2012

Project team trip to Yorkshire to visit Bowes Museum and spend time discussing research findings.

Team at Bowes Museum with Fashoin & Textile Curator Joanna Hashegan

 Helen has a good look in Ceramics Gallery, Bowes Museum


Warwick & Leiden University Symposium

5 - 8 May 2012

 Team in Leiden

Knowledge Exchange across projects looking at similar subject areas.

Click here for Symposium programme.

Workshop - 'Comparing Companies: New Questions for Historians'

27 - 28 October 2012

Comparing Companies Conference group shot

A workshop with invited speakers held at Warwick University.

Please click here for the workshop website.



Joint EAC-URKEW Meeting

22 - 23 September 2011

Meeting of two European Research Council funded projects, EAC (Europe's Asian Centuries, Warwick) and URKEW (Useful and Reliable Knowledge in the Early Modern World, LSE), Milburn House, University of Warwick.

Please click here for event programme.

LSE & Warwick teams


Workshop - 'Material Encounters of the East India Trade 1600-1850'

1 - 2 July 2011

Maxine speaking at the Material Encounters conference Workshop at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, please click here for the workshop website.


Workshop at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

26 November 2010

Members of the Warwick project group attended a porcelain galleries and handling session with the curators, Dr. Victoria Avery, Dr. James Lin and Mr. Nik Zolman and with a potter, Mr. Alan Bainbridge who discussed techniques of making blue and white porcelain. The focus of the workshop was be on Asian export-ware porcelain and its impact on early European initiatives in porcelain production. Click here for report from Hanna Hodacs



Workshop at the National Maritime Museum, London

29 November 2010

Amy Miler, Curator of Decorative Arts and Material Culture, shows some of the costumes made out of Indian muslin (3)

Workshop introducing project team to the experts and resources available through the National Maritime Museum. Click here for more info.

Event gallery


Workshop at The British Library: Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections

1 November 2010

As part of the research project Europe’s Asian Centuries, Prof. Maxine Berg invited a group of experts to deliver a series of introductory talks on the use and content of the India Office Records, held within the Library’s Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections. Click here for more info.