Both of my current research areas take the first decades of the twentieth century as a moment of intense experimentation and transformation around ideas of community and identity.
The first, “Democracy and State Direction: Practical Experiments in Political Economy” is about economic citizenship and decolonization. It uses the curious story of ubiquitous agricultural co-operatives in last decades of the British Empire to ask how the co-operative became a method for producing a certain type of economic citizen. Ultimately, it seeks to provide a new framework for understanding how current ideas about international development, including the primacy of the market and the centrality of the individual entrepreneur, came to be enshrined.
The second, a reaction to current debates about the ontology of the couple and queer forms of kinship and family-making, explore the strategies and identities of queer non-monogamy in the 1920s-1940s.