2014 Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture in Environmental History: Wednesday, March 19

Department of History is pleased to announce that Peter Perdue (Yale University) will be joining us at York to deliver the 2014 Melville-Nelles-Hoffmann Lecture in Environmental History.

Wednesday, March 19 2014
4:15pm reception, lecture to begin at 4:45pm
Schulich Private Dining Room, Main Floor
Schulich Executive Learning Centre

Professor Perdue is a leading scholar modern Chinese and Japanese social, economic, and environmental history. He is the winner of the 2007 Joseph Levenson Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies for his book, China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia.

Professor Perdue's lecture is titled, "Mountains, Caravans, Rivers, and Salons: China's Multiple Tea Trades." He writes:

Along with silk and porcelain, tea has been China’s best known export commodity for many centuries. Until the late nineteenth century, China was by far the world’s dominant exporter of tea, and its domestic consumption has always exceeded that of any other nation. But just as there are many kinds of tea, there are many kinds of tea trades, within and beyond China. Tea is a product of a special ecology. The best teas grow in hill regions, areas on the periphery of state and settled lowlands, which have special social and economic characteristics. But the journey of tea from the highlands to the lowlands also has diverse features, depending on the type of tea, the direction of its flow, and the goals of the trade. In this talk, I will examine several different tea production sites and tea routes, so as to illuminate the connections between local ecologies, state regulation of trade, global markets, and Chinese production systems.

This promises to be a fascinating examination of Chinese history that blends economic, social, and environmental histories in unique and innovative ways.

See poster