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Problematizing Circulations: Connecting Culture, Enviroment and Materiality in Global History

Thanks to generous funding from the JSPS Promotion for International ResearchLink opens in a new window collaboration, the Global History and Culture Centre will be collaborating with Professor Miki Sugiura of Hosei UniversityLink opens in a new window and a team of global historians based in Japan from January 2020 to March 2025.

The collaboration is focused on the theme of ‘Problematizing Circulations’, with a special focus on the environment and on materiality in global history. The project aims to problematize the concept of circulation, which is so prevalent in global history research. We refer to this approach as an ‘eco-critical approach to circulation’. To begin with, we will work on two distinct areas of research:

  1. Defining the Stages of Circulation:
    • Categorizations and Units at work
    • Circulation and Connectivity vs Friction of Terrains, Interrupted Chains
    • Aftermath: Assessing Impacts, Damages and Paths to Regeneration
  2. Reinterpreting Sources:
    • Perspectives towards Environment, Culture, Materiality
    • Historical Constitutions of commodity and resource

We envisage a series of separate projects:

I Japan-Warwick Research Collaboration Project
A. Co-Writing Projects
  • Book Project (based on Source Discussion):
    • Japanese Consular Reports on Africa 1919-1939. Formation of a Global Gaze
      • Miki Sugiura, Robert Fletcher, Hideaki Suzuki and Ryuto Shimada
  • joint article writing projects:
    • Hideaki Suzuki and Robert Fletcher: Land and Martime Zones in Circulation (tentative title)
    • Kazuo Kobayashi and Giorgio Riello: Connecting Indigo in West Africa, India and Britain (tentative theme)
B. Source Discussions

Terms in Circulation and Categories at Work: Cultural, Material and Environmental Adaptations of a Term in the Trade Sources, 1600-1930 (tentative title); 24th May, 2021, (online workshop)

With Michael Bycroft, Robert Fletcher, Anne Gerritsen, Fuyuko Matsukata, Guido van Meeresbergen, Tomoko Morikawa, Shohei Okubo, Giorgio Riello, Ryuto Shimada, Miki Sugiura, and Hideaki Suzuki and others.

C. Global History Seminars at Warwick University

Fuyuko Matsukata (University of Tokyo), expected latter half of 2021


II Other Projects 2020-2021

A. Writing Projects

  • Miki Sugiura, Hissako Anjo, and Emi Goto

Wearing, Buying, Selling European-style Dress. Epistemologies of Global Diffusion, 1900s-1930s

  • Miki Sugiura (a chapter for a book edited by Beverly Lemire and Giorgio Riello)

Chinese Coolie Hats (c. 1840–1940): Global Dialogues on a Hat for Servitude


    B. Conference & Panels

    • Dutch Textiles in Global History: Interconnections of Trade, Design, and Labour, 1600-2000 (Utrecht, 11-12 March 2021)

      Collaborated with Utrecht University Textile-lab (Prof. Elise Nederveen van Meerkerk) and Art Research Center (Prof. Keiko Suzuki, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto)

    • Waste, Innovation and Sustainability: Historical Transformations of Textile Fibres and Product Supply Chains, 1600-2000 (Paris 23 July 2022)


    C. Educational Projects

    • Global History Summer School 2021