IOWC Research Associate: Steven Serels
Steven Serels is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at Harvard University. He holds a PhD and an MA in History, both from McGill University in Montreal. He also holds a BFA from The Cooper Union in New York City, where he studied photography and sculpture. His doctoral dissertation, titled Feasting on Famines: Food Insecurity and the Making of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1883-1956, examines the role of food crises in the expansion and consolidation of British power in the Sudan. His current research project, tentatively entitled Herding for Grain: Northeast African Pastoralists and the Red Sea Grain Economy, 1818-1956, examines the social, political and economic forces that have historically caused famine and food insecurity among pastoralist communities residing along Africa’s Red Sea littoral. Over the course of the nineteenth century, pastoralists in modern day Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia became linked through the development of a common Red Sea grain market. This project will illuminate the factors that structured the access of pastoralist communities to this grain market, and will analyze the strategies developed by these communities to reduce their vulnerability to famine.
Steven has received a number of awards, fellowships and prizes. In 2012, he was awarded a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. As a doctoral candidate, Steven received a number of fellowships, including a Research Fellowship from the Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University (2007-2010); a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2010-2011); and a Graduate Fellowship from the Centre for Developing Area Studies (now the Institute for Studies in International Development), McGill University (2007-2008). He also received a number of awards and prizes from the Department of History at McGill University, including a Graduate Excellence Fellowship (2012), a McCall/MacBain Graduate Award (2010) and a Daisy A. Lartimer Memorial Prize in History (2007), in addition to receiving several awards from the Faculty of Arts at McGill University, such as the Arts Graduate Research Travel Award (2011) and the Arts Graduate Student Travel Award (2011). Prior to that, Steven received a four-year full tuition scholarship from the Cooper Union School of Fine Arts(2001-2005).
2012 "Famines of War: The Red Sea Grain Market and Famine in Eastern Sudan, 1889-1891." Special issue of Northeast African Studies 12.1: 73-94.
2007 "Political Landscaping: Land Registration, the Definition of Ownership and the Evolution of Colonial Objectives in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1899-1924." African Economic History 35: 59-67.
2012 "Agro-pastoral Adjustments: Bijā Communities in the International Grain Market, c. 1800-1929." Paper presented at the International MCRI Conference, "Crossroads between Empires and Peripheries – Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean World," Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 21-23 June 2012.
2011 "Watering Slaves and Growing Grain: The Expansion of Slave Labour in Northern Sudan, 1896-1913." Paper presented at the International MCRI Conference, "Enslavement, Bondage and the Environment in the Indian Ocean World," IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 28-30 April.
2011 "Food Insecurity and Economic Development in the Sudan, 1885-1925." Paper presented at the IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 31 March.
2010 "Cotton Before the Condominium: Cotton Cultivation, the Sudanese Slave Trade and British Influence in the Sudan, 1884-1890." Paper presented at the Conference on Commercial Agriculture in Africa as an Alternative to the Atlantic Slave Trade, German Historical Institute, London, England, 23-25 December.
2010 "Food Insecurity and British Territorial Expansion in the Sudan, 1884-1913." Paper presented at the Third Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa, IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 26 April.
2009 "Salt for Slaves: The Slave Trade at Rowayeh, the Sudan, 1880-1913." Paper presented at the International Conference, "Bridging Two Oceans: Slavery in Indian and Atlantic Worlds," Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, Iziko Slave Lodge, Cape Town, South Africa, 19-22 November.
2009 "Deserts of Interests: The Natural Landscape and British Imperial Interest in the Sudan, 1884-1900." Paper presented at the Kulturpsychologisches Kolloquium, Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 8 June.
2009 "Cattle Tickets and Animal Quarantine: The Movement of Cattle Along the Western Red Sea Coast and the Establishment of Colonial Sovereignty, 1898-1903." Paper presented at the AEGIS Conference, Leipzig, Germany, 4-7 June.
2009 "X-rays and Heat Waves: The Journal of Tropical Medicine and the Quest for a ‘Prescription’ for a Healthy Tropical Wardrobe." Paper presented at the CSHM Conference, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, 29-31 May.
2009 "Indigenous Debt and the Spirit of Colonial Capitalism: Debt and Dependence as a Colonial Economic Development Strategy in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1898-1924." Paper presented at the IOWC International Conference, "Debt and Slavery: The History of a Process of Enslavement," IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 7-9 May.
2009 "Trade-Alliance-Betrayal: The Import/Export Trade at Suakin and the Creation of Colonial Economic Policy in the Sudan, 1890-1905." Paper presented at the Second Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa, IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 27 April.
2009 "The Great International Tropical Underwear Survey: Technologies of Personal Hygiene in the 'Tropics' and the Limits of Consensus amongst British 'Tropical Medicine' Specialists, 1895-1913." Paper presented at the Society for the Social History of Medicine (SSHM) Post-Graduate Conference, "Medicine and Helath Care: History and Context," University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 16-28 April.
2008 "The Acclimatization of Experts in Tropical Laboratories: Andrew Balfour, the Wellcome Tropical Research Laboratory and the Contemporary Study of 'Medicine and the Colonies'." Paper presented at International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) Conference, "Crossing Borders in the History of Technology," University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, 5-10 August.
2008 "The Nutritional Content of Wage Labor: The Politics of Nutrition Science in Britain's East African Colonies, 1926-1939." Paper presented at 2008 Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) Conference, "Reflecting on Africa's Riches: Resources, Conflict and Exploitation," University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, 1-4 May.
2008 "Latourization of Africa: Malaria Control and the Limits of Actor-Network Theory." Paper presented at the First Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa, IOWC, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 28 April.
2010 "Prescriptions for Healthy Living in the British Tropics, 1897-1913." Exhibition held at the Osler Library, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 1 April–6 September.
2009 "Debts/Drugs/Delinquency: Philanthropy and Prostitution in Montreal, 1918-1925." Exhibition held at the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 1 May-30 June.