I am working on a book manuscript, which explores the natural knowledge-making strategies of British savants in eighteenth and nineteenth century colonial India. In it I argue that colonial natural history was a hybrid way of knowing that brought together different types of knowledge, European and indigenous, in the service of the English East India Company state; and that it was knowledge directed to specific contexts of use without necessarily affecting natural knowledge making in Britain.
I have also begun research on a second project on the role of the Calcutta Botanic Garden in the making of the Indian Ocean World environment. This project tests three interlinked theses: (i) that the Garden played a central role in shaping the environmental changes brought about in the IOW under British imperialism; (ii) that such changes were related to efforts to stabilize the British Empire at a moment when Caribbean sugar plantations were under threat from the revolution in Saint Domingue (1790s) and strong abolitionist sentiment at home; (iii) that botanical and agronomical research at the Garden was also simultaneously an effort to embed the Company state in its Indian milieu.
Medicine, Money and the Making of the East India Company State: William Roxburgh in Madras, c. 1790, in Anna Elizabeth Winterbottom & Facil Tesfaye (eds.) Histories of Medicine in the Indian Ocean World, Palgrave MacMillan, 2015
Scottish Enlightenment Travels: Francis Buchanan in South India, in Jean-François Dunyach & Richard B. Sher (eds.) Scots and Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century: Enlightenment and Imperialism, Bucknell University Press, 2015