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Colonial Population and the Idea of Development - Research Masterclass

Thursday 2 June 2016, 2.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr. Samantha Iyer, (Charles Warren Center, Harvard University)

This talk traces the shift in population theory from the Malthusian framework that predominated in English-language political economic writings of the nineteenth century to demographic transition theory, which prevailed by the mid-twentieth century. It argues that concern with population change inspired various twentieth-century theories of development. Focusing especially on ideas about India, the talk examines how intellectual and political exchange between British colonial, Indian nationalist, and American thinkers on the problems of disease, famine, and immigration led to a transformation in demographic thought. The work challenges an idealist historiography that assumes a stark rupture between development theory and the conditions in and relationships to the underdeveloped world that it sought to describe. The research for this talk is part of a larger project that, through the history of food, examines the transformation from a British imperial to an American world system. 

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Location: BS008, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

Admission: Free but with limited spaces. Please email to confirm your attendance.