Iva Peša

  •  African environmental history
  • History of mining and extractive industries
  • History of Zambia and Congo

My new research is part of the ERC funded ‘Comparing the Copperbelt’ project. It is concerned with environmental history and notions of wealth on the Zambian and Congolese Copperbelts since the 1940s. I am particularly interested in how notions of wealth have been constructed in this urban mining region. The interaction between mining company interests, state officials, Zambian and Congolese residents (locals and migrants) and social scientists will be critically studied. Although a particular focus will be placed on mining, agricultural production and forestry will also be considered when writing an environmental history of the region. 

 The Objects of Life in Central Africa: The History of Consumption and Social Change, 1840-1980 (2013)

In The Objects of Life in Central Africa the history of consumption and social change from 1840 until 1980 is explored. By taking consumption as a vantage point, the contributions deviate from and add to previous works which have mainly analysed issues of production from an economic and political perspective. The chapters are broad-ranging in temporal and geographical focus, including contributions on Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola. Topics range from the social history of firearms to the perception of the railway and include contributions on sewing machines, traders and advertising. By looking at the socio-economic, political and cultural meaning and impact of goods the history of Central Africa is reassessed.

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