Individual Report 5 December 2012

Individual Report 5 December 2012
Research & Monograph
After returning from my trip to the French archives (see separate report), I spent several weeks,
reading, classifying, and inventorying all the archival material I had gathered over the last two years.
Based on this I wrote a general outline for the monograph as well as detailed plans for the preface,
the first introductory chapter, and the second chapter.
Using these plans I then wrote a first draft preface stating the purpose of the monograph and
situating it in current scholarship and historiography. I also started work on the first introductory
chapter, which is an overview of French trade in Asia, outline what textiles were traded, how they
were commissioned, bought, packed, shipped, and then finally sold in France. I managed to write
about one third of this, but then interrupted in order to focus on the second chapter, which will be
both the basis for my Venice paper and the sample I hope to send with the book proposal. The
second chapter analyses how cotton textiles were smuggled, sold, and used into and within France,
based on the materials I gathered in Paris, Aix, and Lyon. Together these two chapters give the first
comprehensive account of how these fabrics travelled from the hands of the producers into those of
the consumers. At this point in time I have written just under 8,000 words, about a third to two-fifth
of the total chapter.
Conferences & Publications
I submitted the survey article on the French East India Company to the Historical Journal this
summer, and not having heard back from them after three months, I emailed the editor in question,
who told me that he had so far received one very favourable reader report but was still waiting for
the second one which he was expecting in early December.
Together with Hanna, I attended the Pasold Fund Conference in Stockholm this September, where I
chaired a session on Gender and Innovation. I was asked to write a conference report for the Journal
Textile History, which I have submitted a few days ago and will now put on the intranet, too.
During the this term I have also attended, and very much enjoyed, the Global Commodity Network’s
workshop at the V&A (though I was very sad to have had to miss the first day due to my teaching
obligations) and I am looking forward to both the Warwick-Monash and the Global Commodities
Conferences next week.
My proposal for a paper for the AHFE (French Economic History Association) Congress in Roubaix,
France, next autumn has been accepted. The conference’s theme this year is failure and its virtues
and my paper will be entitled ‘Echec de la vertu ou vertu de l’échec ? Le discours économique de la
querelle sur la prohibition des toiles peintes en France c. 1750-1760’ (The failure of virtue or the
virtue of failure ? The economic discourse of the debate about the prohibition of printed calicoes in
France, c. 1750-60’) and I have been asked to submit it by May next year.
All my year’s teaching is concentrated in the autumn term, so the last months have been busy. On
the whole, most of the teaching was the same as last year: For our joint module I gave a seminar on
the philosophy and historiography of consumer society, one on primary sources, and one on the
luxury debates as well as seven lectures on global consumption in early modern Europe and its
As we changed the format, I was also responsible for three more seminars than last year, one of
which I used to expand on the luxury debates, and another two to take the students to the V&A
together with Chris and then to reflect on the visit and on the study of material culture in history.
As I agreed to be involved in the new first-year module on the Enlightenment I also wrote and gave a
lecture on Religion and Enlightenment, which was not really a topic which I had given much
attention before and that thus required quite a bit of preparation, but which I very much enjoyed.
Mark Knights agreed to be my teaching observer and sat in on both the Enlightenment lecture and
the V&A evaluation seminar, for which he gave me very nice and helpful feedback.