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Jonathan Curry-Machado

Jonathan Curry-Machado

Jonathan Curry-Machado

Training and Professional experience

Graduated from the University of Dundee in Modern History and Political Science (1991). Masters in Research (University of North London, 1999). PhD in History from London Metropolitan University (2004). Currently a postdoctoral researcher with the Technology and Agrarian Development Group, at Wageningen University, the Netherlands; Associate Fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London; and Coordinator of the British Academy Research Project 'Commodities of Empire' (link). Previously a Research Fellow at the Caribbean Studies Centre, London Metropolitan University and Research Officer and Assistant Editor with the Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics. He was based for several years in Cuba, attached to the Cuban Institute of Cultural Research Juan Marinello, in Havana; but also living and working in East Havana, where he was involved with the Fayad Jamís Gallery and the founding of the Omni-Zona Franca group.

Research experience

As Coordinator of the Commodities of Empire project, he is playing an important part in fostering international collaborative research ventures. One of these is the 'Commodities and Anticommodities' programme, run through the Technology and Agrarian Development Group at Wageningen University (the Netherlands), and funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). His own research in this explores Caribbean rural society and development on the frontiers of the plantation economy. His previous research was into the history of migrant engineers in the Cuban sugar industry, their interaction with Cuban society and the transnational social, technological and commercial networks linking Cuba into the global economy. He has also researched and written about the socio-political and institutional impact of the post-1989 Cuban economic crisis. He is currently involved in developing new collaborative research projects: comparing sugar and tobacco in Cuba and Java in a global historical context; and the global circulation of scientific knowledge and technology (a project led by CSIC's Leida Fernández).

Selected Publications

  • Cuban Sugar Industry: Sugar, Transnational Networks and Engineering Migrants in Mid-nineteenth Century Cuba, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 (link)
  • 'The World in a Tea Cup: Brewing Global History through Commodities', introductory essay in Heather Streets (ed.), Commodities, Culture, and History: the Products that have Changed the World, New York: Facts on File, forthcoming 2011
  • 'Azúcar, agentes subimperiales y el fénix cubano del imperio', Cubaliteraria, forthcoming 2011
  • 'In cane's shadow: the impact of commodity plantation of local subsistence agriculture on Cuba's mid-nineteenth century sugar frontier', Commodities of Empire Working Paper No.16, Milton Keynes & London: Open University & Institute for the Study of the Americas, 2010 (View pdf)
  • '"Rich flames and hired tears": Sugar, sub-imperial agents and the Cuban phoenix of empire', Journal of Global History, 4:1 (2009) (link)
  • 'Editorial – Commodities, empires, and global history', Journal of Global History, 4:1 (2009) (with Sandip Hazareesingh)
  • 'Running from Albion: Migration to Cuba from the British Isles in the 19th Century', International Journal of Cuban Studies, 2:1 (2009) (View pdf)
  • 'Privileged Scapegoats: The Manipulation of Migrant Engineering Workers in Mid-Nineteenth Century Cuba', Caribbean Studies, 35:1 (2007) (link)
  • 'Sub-imperial globalisation and the phoenix of empire: engineering and commerce in nineteenth century Cuba', Commodities of Empire Working Paper No.3, Milton Keynes & London: Open University & London Metropolitan University, 2007 (view pdf)
  • 'Sin azúcar no hay país: The Transnational Counterpoint of Sugar and Nation in Nineteenth Century Cuba', Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 34:1 (2007)
  • 'Contradiction, Exclusion and Disruptive Identities: The interaction of engineering migrants with mid-nineteenth century Cuban society', in A. Asgharzadeh, E. Lawson, K. Oca and A. Wahab (eds), Diasporic Ruptures: Globality, Migrancy and Expressions of Identity, Vol.1, Rotterdam: Sense, 2007
  • 'Surviving the "Waking Nightmare": Securing Stability in the Face of Crisis in Cuba, 1989-2004', Crisis States Working Paper 64, London: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics, 2005 (view pdf)
  • 'How Cuba Burned with the Ghosts of British Slavery: Race, Abolition and the Escalera', Slavery and Abolition, 25:1 (2004)
  • 'Catalysts in the Crucible: kidnapped Caribbeans, free black British subjects and migrant British machinists in the failed Cuban revolution of 1843', in Nancy Naro (ed.), Blacks and National Identity in 19th Century Latin America, London: ILAS, 2003
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