This book boldly unsettles the idea of globalization as a recent phenomenon–and one driven solely by Western interests–by offering a compelling new perspective on global interconnectivity in the nineteenth century. Jeremy Prestholdt examines East African consumers’ changing desires for material goods from around the world in an era of sweeping social and economic change. Exploring complex webs of local consumer demands that affected patterns of exchange and production as far away as India and the United States, the book challenges presumptions that Africa’s global relationships have always been dictated by outsiders. Full of rich and often-surprising vignettes that outline forgotten trajectories of global trade and consumption, it powerfully demonstrates how contemporary globalization is foreshadowed in deep histories of intersecting and reciprocal relationships across vast distances.
About Dr. Prestholdt
Jeremy Prestholdt (PhD Northwestern University, 2003) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego. He has been awarded fellowships by the Rockefeller Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Foundation. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, including the American Historical Review, Public Culture, and the Journal of World History.
His first book, Domesticating the World: African Consumerism and the Genealogies of Globalization (2008), focuses on the intersections of culture and economy in East Africa. The book narrates African consumers’ changing demands for material goods and how these shaped global exchanges in an era of sweeping social and economic change.
His current work moves in multiple directions. One project addresses the global popularity and diverse meanings of icons in the post-Cold War world, including Bob Marley, Che Guevara, Tupac Shakur, and Osama bin Laden. A second book project focuses on political culture, violence, and claims of autochthony in late colonial and postcolonial Kenya.