Seminar Series

The CHoSTM seminar series for the second term commences on the 26th of January, 2022, and will be held alternate Wednesdays between 17.00-19.00 hrs. Please note that the seminars will be held at S8.08, 8th Floor, Department of History, Strand Building, King's College London. Seminars will mostly showcase the internal work of the department and will be based on pre-circulated papers.  Please contact Viswanathan Venkataraman if you are interested in attending.              

Seminar Programme 2021/22

Term three


 4th May,2022


Defensing the Cyclone in Advance: The Making of Storm Warning System in Coasts of Colonial India

 Zhenwu Qiu


Draft will be pre-circulated


18th May, 2022

 Presentation of Dr. Waqar Zaidi’s book titled Technological Internationalism and World Order: Aviation, Atomic Energy, and the Search for International Peace 1920—1950  with comments from Prof. David Edgerton, and Prof. Joe Maiolo. 


1st June, 2022


Why do we need a new history of DDT? 

 Dr. Sabine Clarke and Dr. Thomas Lean 


Draft will be pre-circulated. 



Term Two

26th Jan, 2022

Looking back at the History of CHoSTM

Prof. David Edgerton

David will be talking about the history of the centre, to be followed by discussion on how we might celebrate its 30th year anniversary coming up in 2023. No pre-circulated paper for this session.

9th Feb, 2022

Erasures, Blind Spots, and Methodological Dilemmas in African Histories of Science

Prof. Helen Tilley

Draft will be pre-circulated. 

23rd Feb, 2022

Discussion on the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Impact & Public Engagement

Dr. Chris Manias

Chris will be discussing about the History of STM Impact hub he is convening at the Department of History


9th Mar, 2022

Cognitive Development and International Development: An Entangled History

Dr. David Brydan

Draft will be pre-circulated.


23rd Mar, 2022

Why do we need a new history of DDT?

Dr. Sabine Clarke & Dr. Thomas Lean

Draft will be pre-circulated. 


6th Apr, 2022

The Emergence of a Global Technology: Chlorination in England, United States, and Colombia

Edisson Aguilar-Torres


Draft will be pre-circulated. 


20th Apr, 2022

Defensing the Cyclone in Advance: The Making of Storm Warning System in Coasts of Colonial India

Zhenwu Qiu

Draft will be pre-circulated. 

Term One

6th October, 2021

CHoSTM Research Review

As we reconvene at the seminar room for the first time in nearly 18 months, this sesssion will provide us an opportunity to meet new members at the centre, and discuss our ongoing research.

20th October,2021

The Manchester School of Social Anthropology, 1949-1975

Katherine Ambler

My thesis explores the development and operation of the ‘Manchester School’ of social anthropology from its creation in 1949 to the death of its founder, Max Gluckman, in 1975. While the ‘Manchester School’ has been closely associated with the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), with which many of its members were affiliated, the thesis focuses on the group’s development within the University of Manchester. The Manchester Department was shaped by the traditions of its host university, which had a history of researching its local region, working with government, and fostering cross-disciplinary and international exchange. As well as examining developments within the University of Manchester, the thesis also uses three cases studies of large-scale research projects undertaken by Manchester anthropologists into: urbanisation and industrialisation in Northern Rhodesia; productivity in Lancashire factories; and farming communities in Israel. The thesis explores how anthropology in the postwar period was not only shaped by the dynamics of empire but was also embedded in other metropolitan and international networks. It examines the appeal – and challenges – of undertaking cross-disciplinary work, as well as how anthropologists fought to demonstrate the ongoing value of their subject by seeking a more inclusive definition of who and what counted as ‘anthropology’. Finally, it highlights the importance of practical issues, such as funding, institutional changes, and career choices, in disciplinary developments.  

Paper to be pre-circulated

3rd November,2021

Reforming Drainage in the Colonial City: Sewerage Infrastructure in Early 20th Century Madras

Viswanathan Venkataraman

This chapter- the third in my PhD- evaluates colonial interventions in reforming the drainage and sewerage practices in early 20th century Madras city. The focus is on the ideas, and values that shaped sewerage engineering design. It argues that sewerage engineering in India was a contested body of practise and knowledge, where the adaptability of European methods for Indian conditions formed the key point of contention. Madras city emerged as an important site of this contention, where the view of adaptation of European practise for Indian conditions prevailed. Consequently, the designing of sewerage system there involved the development and incorporation of novel artefacts such as new cheaper types of water closets, household drainage devices, etc., for adapting modern drainage principles for the city’s contexts. Perceptions of class differences were vital in this process, determining how the socio-spatial reach of these systems was configured. In bringing these processes to light, this chapter points to the limitations of received historiographic insights which has so far exclusively emphasized the centrality of racial and colonial difference in shaping sewerage engineering in colonial India.

Paper to be pre-circulated

17th November

Prizes in Service of Empire: Agricultural Medals, Botanical Science, and the Commercialisation of Indian Land Ownership

Liam Fitzgerald

Liam will be presenting a section of the final chapter of his thesis. 


Paper to be pre-circulated

1st December

"Secrets of Women": Translating the Female Body in Early Modern Recipe Books

Julia Gruman Martins.

Paper to be pre-circulated. 

15th December

The 'Piston-engined' Hegemon: US Aviation in a British light, 1945-1958 

Prof. David Edgerton

Paper to be pre-circulated. 

Click here for the list of previous seminars.