Published on: 11-Oct-2018
Since the time of Vasco da Gama’s voyage, the Indian Ocean has been the theatre of intense imperial rivalries over commodities and resources. For centuries the main players in these conflicts were Western colonial powers, but over the last few decades the countries of the Indian Ocean rim have themselves become
major consumers of commodities and resources. As such they are now among the principal drivers of anthropogenic climate change, an ongoing process that
will have catastrophic consequences for the billions of people who live around the Indian Ocean.
This presentation explores the continuities between the resource conflicts of the past and the future by focusing on two transformative imperial wars: the Anglo-
Dutch spice wars of the 17th century and the First Opium War of 1840-42. It also poses some related questions: are the imperatives of empire and military
supremacy among the major drivers of climate change? If so, why are these issues generally elided? Does the fact that the discourse on climate change is
largely produced within university-based contexts have anything to do with this elision?
Date: 11 October 2018
Time: 11.30 am to 1 pm
Venue: HSS Auditorium (School of Humanities building, Level B1)
Contact: Professor Shirley Chew ShirleyChew@ntu.edu.sg
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