Thursday, June 30, 2011

More on Cotton in German Togoland

Well if criticism of the founding of Israel is not going to garner me any comments then I doubt anybody in the blogosphere is going to care much about my thoughts on German Togoland. But, one never knows. The brief German colonial empire in Africa may become the next hot topic of historical debate. Of course even in this context, scholars have shown less interest overall in Togoland than in other parts of the empire such as Namibia.

At any rate last night I finished a draft of the proposal for my first conference paper on an African subject. As should be obvious from the information above it is on cotton in German Togoland. The conference is on German colonial rule on West Africa and will take place here in Ghana. Eastern Ghana used to be part of German Togoland.  I am going to write on the failure of the German colonial administration in Togoland to make the territory into a major supplier of raw cotton for the German textile industry. I am going to contrast this with the success of the Russian Empire during the same time in developing cotton cultivation in Central Asia to such an extent that it supplied most of  its textile industry. I am going to coauthor the paper with a post graduate student here in the history department. Right now he is looking over the proposal I wrote. I think transnational topics like the history of various commodities are a good way for me to broaden my portfolio to include some publications on topics directly related to Africa.

No comments: