ANN: Book Talk: A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World

Melissa Dale's picture

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March 8, 2018
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, British History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, World History / Studies


Thursday, March 8, 2018
5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
University of San Francisco, McLaren Conference Center, Rm. 250

Free and open to the public.  Seating is first come, first served.



The Center for Asia Pacific Studies at the University of San Francisco welcomes Prof. Erika Rappaport to campus for a book talk featuring her latest publication, A Thirst for Empire:  How Tea Shaped the Modern World. Prof Rappaport will explore some of the central themes of her new book, by focusing on how European colonialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries transformed the production, distribution, and consumption of tea in British India.  From as early as the 1820s and 1830s, when the British conquered Assam, they began to imagine consumers drinking up Indian tea throughout the empire, but central to this vision was the conquest of the Indian consumer. This talk considers how British tea planters created Indian tea plantations and markets and concludes with a consideration of how Indian nationalists responded to but never fully rejected the so-called civilizing brew.

Erika Rappaport is professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she teaches the history of Great Britain and its Empire, women’s history, the history of capitalism, and the history of food. She is the author of A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World (Princeton University Press, 2017); Shopping for Pleasure: Women in the Making of London's West End (Princeton 2000), is co-editor of Consuming Behaviours: Identities, Politics, and Pleasure in Twentieth-Century Britain (Bloomsbury 2015) and has written many chapters and articles on gender, urban history, consumer culture and imperialism.

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Melissa Dale

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