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Dr Emma Reisz

BA, MPhil, PhD (Cambridge)

Lecturer in Asian History

On leave semester 1 2015-16

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 5101  


Emma Reisz studied at Trinity Hall and Christ's College Cambridge. After undergraduate research on medieval mathematics in the Mediterranean world, Emma wrote her MPhil on Kew Gardens, and her PhD on 'Knowledge and Political Economy in the Rubber Trade of the British Empire, c.1800–c.1930'. She took up her post at Queen's in 2006.

Research Interests

Emma's research covers a broad range of locations, including Southeast Asia, South Asia, global history, transnational connections, and the British empire. Her research topics include historical perspectives on development, commodities and trade, science and technology, environment, and economic anthropology. She also has interests in race and post-colonial theory. She is currently working on two book-length projects: a history of development, and a study of ethnicity, national identity, and development policy in post-colonial Malaysia.

Emma has supervised research on areas as diverse as the Borneo Confrontation, the history of OXFAM, and agrarian ideology in the US. She is happy to hear from students interested in Asian, imperial, or transnational research.


Select Publications


  • The political economy of empire in the tropics: rubber in the British Empire, 1800–1940 (Basingstoke, forthcoming).

Articles and chapters:

  • 'Curiosity and rubber in the French Atlantic' in Atlantic Studies, iv (2007).
  • 'Recovering post-colonial tropicalities from a "fervid inflorescence" of metaphor' in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science (2004).
  • '"Provident" political economy in Indian forests' in F. Trentmann and M.J. Daunton (eds), Worlds of political economy: knowledge and power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Basingstoke, 2004).
  • 'City as garden: shared space in the urban botanic gardens of Singapore and Malaysia, 1786–2000' in R. Bishop et al. (eds), Postcolonial urbanism: Southeast Asian cities and global processes (New York, 2003).

Entry on PURE research portal



Dr Emma Reisz teaches on the following programmes / modules:


110MHY101 Modern History