The book brings together original, state-of-the-art historical research from several continents and examines how mainly local peasant societies responded to colonial pressures to produce a range of different commodities. It offers new directions in the study of African, Asian, Caribbean, and Latin American societies.
Sandip Hazareesingh is Research Fellow in the History Department at the Open University, UK. He is the author of The Colonial City and the Challenge of Modernity (2007), and is currently researching the interactions between peasant livelihoods, colonial policies, climate and environment in nineteenth and twentieth century western India.
Harro Maat is Sociologist and Historian of Agricultural Science and Technology at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation group of Wageningen University, Netherlands. His main focus is on crop improvement in the colonial period and current (bio)technologies for international development in India, South-East Asia and Africa.
1. Rice as Commodity and Anti-Commodity
2. Yellow Tobacco, Black Tobacco: Indigenous (Desi) Tobacco as an Anti-Commodity
3. Upland and Lowland Rice in the Netherlands Indies
4. Anti-Commodity Counterpoint: Smallholder Diversity and Rural Development on the Cuban Sugar Frontier
5. 'Your Foreign Plants are Very Delicate': Peasant Crop Ecologies and the Subversion of Colonial Cotton Designs in Dharwar, Western India, 1830-1880
6. Sanitising Commercialisation: Health and the Politics of 'Waste' in Colonial Punjab
7. East African Railways and Harbours 1945-60: From 'Crisis of Accumulation' to Labour Resistance
8. Rice, Civilisation and the Swahili Towns: Anti-Commodity and Anti-State?
9. 'Shun the White Man's Crop': Shangwe Grievances, Religious Leaders and Cotton Cultivation in North-Western Zimbabwe