Richard H. Grove: Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860 (1995)

22 March 2014, dusan

Green Imperialism is the first book to document the origins and early history of environmentalism, concentrating especially on its hitherto unexplained colonial and global aspects. It highlights the significance of Utopian, Physiocratic, and medical thinking in the history of environmentalist ideas. The book shows how the new critique of the colonial impact on the environment depended on the emergence of a coterie of professional scientists, and demonstrates both the importance of the oceanic island “Eden” as a vehicle for new conceptions of nature and the significance of colonial island environments in stimulating conservationist notions.”

Publisher Cambridge University Press, 1995
Studies in Environment and History series
ISBN 0521565138, 9780521565134
540 pages

Reviews: Elvin (London Review of Books, 1995), Carruthers (H-Africa, 1996), Rangarajan (Telegraph, 1995), Harrison (British Journal for the History of Science, 1996), Hughes (Journal of World History, 1996), Harrison (British Journal for the History of Science, 1996), MacKenzie (International History Review, 1996), Luckin (Reviews in History, 1996).


PDF (28 MB, updated on 2015-2-21)

Catherine Pagani: “Eastern Magnificence & European Ingenuity”: Clocks of Late Imperial China (2001)

28 August 2013, dusan

“The period from the late sixteenth to the late eighteenth centuries was one of complex change for the Chinese. Europe was eagerly looking to the East with an interest in developing a China market, not just in commercial and diplomatic enterprises but in evangelical ventures as well. The resulting contacts produced significant cultural exchanges and appropriations, as well as misconceptions and stereotypes. Profoundly affected by these interactions were the areas of technology and the decorative arts. Europe became enamored of Chinese style, and a fashion known as chinoiserie permeated the decorative arts. In China, one result of Sino-European contact was the introduction of a new and important technology: the Western mechanical clock.

Called in Chinese zimingzhong, or “self-ringing bells,” these elaborate clocks were used as status symbols, decorative items, and personal adornments, and only occasionally as timepieces. Most importantly, they were signifiers of cultural power: Europeans, whether missionaries or ambassadors, controlled the introduction of both object and technology, and they used this control to advantage in gaining access to the highest reaches of Chinese society.

Through her focus on technology and the decorative arts, Catherine Pagani contributes to an overall understanding of the nature and extent of European influence in late Imperial China and of the complex interaction between these two cultures. This study’s interdisciplinary approach will make it of interest to those in the fields of art history, the history of clockwork and of science and technology, Jesuit history, Qing-dynasty history, and Asian studies, as well as to the educated general reader.”

Publisher University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2001
ISBN 0472112082, 9780472112081
286 pages



See also Volume 4-2 (part j) of Joseph Needham’s Science and Civilisation in China

Meta F. Janowitz, Diane Dallal (eds.): Tales of Gotham, Historical Archaeology, Ethnohistory and Microhistory of New York City (2013)

16 May 2013, dusan

Historical Archaeology and Ethnohistory of New York City: Tales and Microhistory of Gotham is a collection of narratives about people who lived in New York City during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, people whose lives archaeologists have encountered during excavations at sites where these people lived or worked. The stories are ethnohistorical or microhistorical studies created using archaeological and documentary data. As microhistories, they are concerned with particular people living at particular times in the past within the framework of world events.

The world events framework will be provided in short introductions to chapters grouped by time periods and themes. The foreword by Mary Beaudry and the afterword by LuAnne DeCunzo bookend the individual case studies and add theoretical weight to the volume. Topics in the book include:
– Native Americans and Europeans in New Amsterdam
– Stories of Dutch women in the colonial period
– African history in New York City, including the African Burial Ground
– Craftsmen and Churchmen of New York City
– A portrait of Stephen Allen, a New York City Mayor

Historical Archaeology and Ethnohistory of New York City: Tales and Microhistory of Gotham focuses on specific individual life stories, or stories of groups of people, as a way to present archaeological theory and research. Archaeologists work with material culture—artifacts—to recreate daily lives and study how culture works; this book is an example of how to do this in a way that can attract people interested in history as well as in anthropological theory. As such, this volume is an invaluable resource for archaeologists, historians, ethnographers, anthropologists, and anybody interested in the rich history of one of the world’s most influential cities, New York City.”

With a Foreword by Mary Beaudry
With an Afterword by LuAnne DeCunzo
Publisher Springer, London, 2013
ISBN 1461452716, 9781461452713
369 pages