HomeProducts from Overseas in Europe: Circulation, Transformation and Consumption (16th-18th centuries)

HomeProducts from Overseas in Europe: Circulation, Transformation and Consumption (16th-18th centuries)

Products from Overseas in Europe: Circulation, Transformation and Consumption (16th-18th centuries)

La diffusion des produits ultra-marins en Europe (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle)

*  *  *

Published on Wednesday, February 17, 2016


L’enjeu de cette journée est de comprendre comment se sont diffusés les produits exotiques en Europe, en prenant en compte la grande différenciation des consommations en fonction des pays, des espaces (maritimes et intérieurs, urbains et ruraux) et des classes sociales, en s’intéressant aux adaptations réalisées pour répondre aux besoins et aux goûts des consommateurs européens. 



This workshop aims at bringing together scholars working on various tropical and colonial goods: raw materials, foodstuff, plants, drugs, and manufactured goods shipped from Asia, Africa and America to Europe.

Recent studies in the history of consumption, long-distance trade and global history have provided historians with a better understanding on the many ways in which the trade in overseas products affected European consumption and manufacturing in the early modern ages (Berg 2015, Riello 2013, Coquery 2011). Sugar, coffee, tobacco, amongst others, transformed European taste and habits of consumption as they slowly started to be sold to new consumers through networks of wholesalers and retailers in Europe. Luxury goods from China and India challenged European manufacturers to create new consumer goods that would conform to European taste. Porcelains, lacquer ware, printed textiles stimulated artistic and technical innovation as they became more popular. Raw materials and semi-processed goods, be it dyestuffs, gums, or cotton threads sustained this development by providing European manufactures and workshops with products that could not be produced in temperate climates.

Main topics

This workshop will focus on 3 main topics :

1) Costs and risks in transportation:

Transportation is a crucial moment in long-distance trade. This constraint can also contribute to the success of a commercial operation, through the control of time, information, packaging, insurance and shipping, and business partners. When the goods first arrive in Europe, they are repackaged, and sent further away to other European countries, or to the inner land, then sold to grocers and retailers. We welcome contributions on any of these stages of transportation.

2) Processing and distribution strategies:

Many overseas products are processed upon arrival: to fit European taste, porcelains, for instance, are painted so as to look as Japanese Imari, calicoes and printed textiles are cut, sewn, to be sold as furniture fabrics or dresses. Cochineal, indigo, dyewoods disappear in the dyeing process to offer bright colors fit for the latest fashions. Thus, overseas products are not only seen as finished goods, but also as materials that middlemen and makers can shape.

3) Differentiation strategies, product qualities and consumption patterns:

Overseas goods in Europe are available with a wide range of qualities. How their reputation is constructed and changes over time and space still needs to be explored. But qualities are also often modeled to fit different patterns of consumption. Overseas products are sold in rural and urban markets, as luxuries and as necessities, and for different uses.

 Submission guidelines

Proposals (in French or in English) should be submitted at the following address: jeultramarins@gmail.comwith a one-page paper abstract, a paper title and a brief curriculum vitae

by March 24, 2016.

A longer version of the CFP (in French) is available here: http://afhe.hypotheses.org/8519

We have a limited budget to contribute towards potential travel and accommodation.

Papers will be published in the French review Enquêtes et Documents.

Organizing committee

  • Marguerite Martin (Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne)
  • Maud Villeret (Université de Nantes)

Scientific committee 

  • Natacha Coquery (Université Lumière Lyon 2)
  • Bruno Blondé (Université d’Anvers)
  • Dominique Margairaz (Université Paris I)
  • Philippe Meyzie (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)
  • Olivier Raveux (Université Aix-Marseille)
  • Éric Schnakenbourg (Université de Nantes)



  • Nantes, France (44)


  • Thursday, March 24, 2016


  • ultra-marin, consommation, alimentation, consommateur, goût, transport, transformation, distribution


  • Maud Villeret
    courriel : maudvilleret [dot] teresma [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Marguerite Martin
    courriel : marguerite [dot] martin [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr

Information source

  • Maud Villeret
    courriel : maudvilleret [dot] teresma [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Products from Overseas in Europe: Circulation, Transformation and Consumption (16th-18th centuries) », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, February 17, 2016, https://doi.org/10.58079/ufa

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search