6B - How Commodities Shaped the World University of Warwick and Monash University Australia
While we live in a world dominated by global commodities, their significance regarding the formation of global economy and globalisation is often overlooked. The spread of commodities drastically has changed the world and the commodity chain both in past periods and today is characterised by vast inequities between suppliers and consumers.
My research focuses on the ivory trade. Ivory has been an important global commodity for centuries. In this paper, I argue that the same patterns of exploitation are visible across this long period although the centre of gravity has shifted from Europe to China.
My research explores the ivory trade in East Central Africa from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Following Portuguese intervention in East Africa, the region emerged at the centre of ivory trade, which drew in multiple actors. In the early modern period, African ivory was traded but the bulk of profits flowed out of Africa. London acquired vast sums of Mozambique ivory from both Africa and Goa via the redistribution centre of ivory in India.
The similar situation applies today, yet to a different destination: China. China has become one of the world’s largest consumers of ivory, shipping in vast quantities from Africa. Using historical and contemporary records in English and Chinese, my research demonstrates how the global trade in ivory causes economic damage to Africa today, especially from the Chinese side. It shows how multiple drivers of the trade intensify the ivory demand in China, which facilitates the profitability and incentives for elephant poaching as evidenced by the skyrocketing ivory price. This research connects to a wider question: whether China has replaced the Western powers in a semi-colonial relationship with Africa. Ivory provides an important site to consider the continuities across a long period.
"Remember gentlemen, it is not just France we are fighting for&helip;It is Champagne!", Winston Churchill.
Cultivated for almost 10,000 years, and generally regarded as something of a luxury item, the history of wine and its production can help chart the expansion of Europeans into the new world.
For many centuries wine, whilst generally the preserve of the wealthy, was less of an extravagance and, indeed in some cases formed a vital part of day-to-day living.
Whether as a source of calories, an alternative to polluted local water, an antiseptic, an aesthetic, a preservative or a ceremonial imperative, wine has pervasive in Europe, and beyond, since antiquity. When the new world beckoned to European exploration and expansion, wine was often taken on the journey, and the Vitis viniferia vine was often among the first things to be brought by the Europeans to their destination.
As such the spread of wine production can be seen as a lens through which to examine European colonial expansion, class and the economic structure of nation-states through history, the idea of identity in a global, cultural and regional sense, appetite and consumption and cultural cache, global markets and marketing.
Wine may not, quite, permeate our lives to the degree that it has in the past, however it does offer an interesting perspective on how to view our present and future.
6C - Cause and Effect University of Warwick and Kyushu University
6D - Technology, Innovation, and Brands University of Warwick and Nanyang Technological University
The recent controversial government white paper, entitled “Success as a Knowledge Economy”, demonstrates the growing discourse between the government, the public and academics regarding the potential merits and purpose of innovation in Higher Education (HE). Innovation can be described as a miracle tool: to improve teaching practice, heighten student satisfaction, increase accessibility, benefit the UK economy, develop the skills and employability of students, and maintain the world-class reputation of UK universities. This discussion makes it increasingly imperative for participants in HE to understand what innovation is, and how it can be used constructively. The IATL research project ‘Warwick Handbook of Innovative Teaching’ (WHIT) works to meet this need. Advancing the existing literature on innovative practice, which tends to reflect on specific case studies, WHIT aims at an institution-wide collection of insights and examples. The project’s purpose is to create a practical resource for staff members interested in integrating innovative practice within their teaching, including activities, tasks and reflections, encompassed within a theoretical framework.
To understand how innovation in teaching and learning is currently conceived by academics and students, we utilised a variety of methods: interviewing staff from a range of disciplines, recording lesson observations, conducting an online poll with over 600 student responses and participating in teaching reflections. This led us to our current working definition of innovation, as a teaching practice or resource created in response to existing practice and experiences, with at least one element that does not already exist within its context.
In our ICUR presentation we hope to supplement this definition with updated findings to share how innovative teaching can be structured, enacted and reflected upon.
In today's global society, it is not an uncommon phenomenon for romantic couples to be separated geographically, whether caused by the rise of internet dating or by movement in search of job or scholastic opportunities. What we perceive as separation and presence is distorted as technology bridges our communicative experiences. We are able to form bonds and connections with people even with a cultural, language and lifestyle difference. The project explores geographically separated relationships in order to curate experiences that may bring the separated couples closer together while promoting cross-cultural understanding.
Thus, Face Value is expressed through a time-lapse film that ceaselessly reminds viewers of absence and persistent longing, while a care gift-package manual, derived and customized from the intricacies of a long distance relationship attempts to create sensorial experiences to overcome it. Examples inspired by my own experiences in a long distance relationship will be displayed; elements from Singapore as well as France will be used to demonstrate how the manual can be used.