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Professor Maxine Berg

Contact Information:

Office: H020
Phone: 02476 523377
Term-Time Office Hours: Wednesdays 1pm-2pm, Wednesdays 4pm-5pm, and Thursdays 2pm-3pm

Academic Profile
  • Professor of History (1998-present)
  • Fellow of the British Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Honorary Fellow, Balliol College, Oxford (2009-present)
  • Director of the Global History and Culture Centre (2007-2010)
  • Director of the Eighteenth-Century Centre (1998-2007)
  • Guggenheim Fellow (2003-2004)
Other Appointments, Fellowships and Academies


  • Associate Fellow of the Centre for History & Economics, University of Cambridge. (2010- present)

  • Senior Member of Robinson College, Cambridge.(2010- present)

  • European Research Council Fellow, 2010-2014 & Director of ERC Fellowship project 'Europe's Asian Centuries: Trading Eurasia 1600-1830'
  • Fellow of the Academia Europaea 2011 to present
  • Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, September-December 2009
  • Visiting Senior Fellow, Dept. of Economic History, LSE, September 2009 - March 2010
  • 2003-4 Guggenheim Fellow and Senior Fellow, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford
  • Standing Committee of the British Academy, Modern History Section, 2007-2012
  • Member of the Grants Board of the British Academy, 2007-2012
  • Grants Officer Modern History Section Committee of British Academy, 2004-2007
  • Member British Academy Records of Social and Economic History Committee, 2004-2007
  • Member of Knowledge Transfer Panel, AHRC, 2006-2007
  • Member of Selection Committee Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Programme, Harvard University 2004 to present
  • Member of Giunta Esecutiva of the Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F.Datini”, 1999-2006
  • Member of Comitato Scientifico of the Datini Institute, Prato, Italy, 1999-2010
  • Member of the Research Priorities Board ESRC, 1998-2002
  • Member of Council of the Economic History Society, 1993-1999
Undergraduate Modules Taught
Postgraduate Modules Taught


Selected Publications

Please Click the link to see details of books.

  • Goods from the East: Trading Eurasia 1600-1800 (co-edited), (forthcoming Palgrave Publishers, 2014), 120,000 words

  • Ed. Writing the History of the Global: Challenges for the Twenty-first Century (Oxford, 2013)
  • Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (OUP, 2005)
  • Ed. with Elizabeth Eger, Luxury in the Eighteenth Century: Debates, Desires and Delectable Goods (Palgrave, 2002)
  • Ed. With Helen Clifford, Consumers and Luxury in Europe 1650-1850 (Manchester University Press, 1999)
  • Ed. With Kristine Bruland, Technological Revolutions in Europe 1760-1860 (Edward Elgar, 1997)
  • A Woman in History; Eileen Power 1889-1940 (Cambridge, 1996)
  • The Age of Manufactures. Second Edition (Routledge, 1994)
  • Markets and Manufacture in Early Industrial Europe, (Routledge, 1990; new edition 2012).

  • Political Economy in the Twentieth Century, (Philip Allan and Simon and Schuster, 1990); American edition: Barnes and Noble, 1990)
  • The Machinery Question and the Making of Political Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1980) (Italian translation. Il Mulino, 1981); new edition 2008.
  • Technology and Toil in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Edition of Historical Documents, CSE Books, Gresse Trust, 1979)


  • East-West Dialogues: Economic Historians, the Cold War and Détente, Journal of Modern History, (forthcoming 2014 17,000 words)

  • Skill, Craft and Histories of Industrialization in Europe and Asia, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, (forthcoming April 2014 9,000 words)

  • British Trade with Asia: Historiography and Material Culture, Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, (forthcoming 2014)
  • Craft and Small Scale Production in the Global Economy: Gujarat and Kachchh in the Eighteenth and Twenty-first Centuries, Itinerario, Vol. 37 (2), 2013, pp. 23-45.
  • Passionate Projectors: Savants and Silk on the Coromandel Coast 1780-1798, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Vol. 14 (3), 2013, 16pp (8,259 words).
  • Useful Knowledge, Industrial Enlightenment and the Place of India, Journal of Global History, 8:1 (2013): 117-141.
    'Industrial Enlightenment' and the Place of India, forthcoming Journal of Global History
  • 'Luxury, the Luxury Trades and the Roots of Industrial Growth', chap. 9, in Frank Trentmann, ed., The Oxford Handbook on the History of Consumption, OUP, 2012, pp173-212
  • ‘The British Product Revolution of the Eighteenth Century’, in Jeff Horn, Len Rosenband and Merritt Roe Smith, eds., Reconceptualizing the Industrial Revolution, MIT Press, 2011, pp. 47-66
  • ‘Britain’s Asian Century: Porcelain and Global History in the Long Eighteenth Century’, in Laura Cruz and Joel Mokyr, eds., The Birth of Modern Europe: Essays in Honour of Jan de Vries (Brill), 2010
  • ‘Quality, Cotton and the Global Luxury Trade’, chap. 14, in Giorgio Riello and Tirthankar Roy, How India Clothed the World (Brill), 2009, pp. 391-414
  • 'Cargoes: the Trade in Luxuries from Asia to Europe', in David Cannadine, ed. Maritime Trade and Empire, Palgrave Press (2007)
  • 'From Global History to Globalization', History Workshop Journal, Issue 66, 2008
  • 'Selling Consumption in the Eighteenth Century: Advertising and the Trade Card in Britain and France', written with Helen Clifford, Cultural and Social History, vol.4 (2), 2007, pp. 9-34.
  • 'Britain, Industry and Perceptions of China: Matthew Boulton, 'Useful Knowledge' and the Macartney Embassy to China 1792-4', Journal of Global History, vol. 1 (2), July 2006, pp. 269-288.   
  • Special issue edition of History of Science: 'Reflections on Joel Mokyr's The Gifts of Athena, edited set of papers by Maxine Berg, Joel Mokyr, Larry Stewart, Liliane Hilaire-Perez, Kristine Bruland: Vol. 45 (2), 2007, pp. 125-196
  • 'The Genesis of Useful Knowledge' - article for Special Issue of History of Science, vol. 49 (2), 2007, pp. 123-133.
  • 'In Pursuit of Luxury: Global Origins of British Consumer Goods in the Eighteenth Century', Past and Present, 182, 2004
  • 'Consumption and Consumers 1700-1850' in R.C. Floud and Paul Johnson, eds. An Economic History of Britain, vol. 1 (Cambridge University Press, 2003)
  • 'From Imitation to Invention: Creating Commodities in Eighteenth-Century Britain', Economic History Review, 45, 2002
  • 'Shopping for Britain: British Products in the Eighteenth Century' History Today (July, 2005)
  • (With Matthew Craske) 'Art and History: Business Organization and Luxury Manufacture in the Eighteenth Century' in Proceedings of the Instituto Internazionale di Storia Economica F. Datini, Prato, vol. 33, 2002
  • 'French Fancy and Cool Britannia: the Fashion Markets of Early Modern Europe' in Proceedings of the Instituto Internazionale di Storia Economica F. Datini, Prato, vol. 32, 2001.

Funded Research Projects:

  • The Eighteenth Century: Cultures of Collection and Display: Waddesdon Manor Programme
  • Leverhulme Trust Research Interchange on Cultures of Commerce and Invention - Warwick & CNAM (Paris). 2002-2006
  • Leverhulme Trust Project on Art and Industry. Funding: £71,000 2000-2002
  • University of Warwick Luxury Project. Funding: £195,000 1998-2002

Research Interests:

Global history, especially Asia and Europe in the early modern period; history of knowledge and technology; history of material culture, especially textiles, porcelain and luxury manufactured goods; also history writing and historiography 1920s - 1960s.

  • 'Eurasian Trade and European Markets 1600-1830.’ This is a study of Asian export ware produced for and traded in the consumer markets of Europe and the Atlantic world. How did East India Companies, private traders and Indian and Chinese merchants design goods of wide appeal to Western markets, and organize their production and distribution systems in this long-distance trade in material goods and culture between Asia and Europe? How were these Asian-produced goods collected and displayed in European and American public and private interiors? What part did this Eurasian trade play in stimulating Europe’s consumer and industrial revolutions?
  • Wealth and Knowledge: the Transmission of Useful Knowledge 1600-1850’. A study of how craft, tacit and formal knowledge was transmitted among manufacturers, especially in luxury goods across Europe and between Europe and Asia.
  • International historical associations in the postwar era.
  • I am a member of GEHN (the Global Economic History Network). See Gehn (LSE)


Current Research Student Supervision:
  • Tim Davies, 'Private Merchants and Global Trade: Commercial Networking in the 18th Century Indian Ocean' (PhD Thesis)
  • Meike Fellinger, 'Supercargoes and the English East India Company in the China Trade 1700-1760' (PhD thesis)

Recently Completed PhDs
  • Tim McEvoy, 'The Commercial Culture of Maritime Innovation: Britain and Venice in the Eighteenth Century' (ESRC PhD - supervised jointly with Dr. Luca Molà)
  • Anna Moran, 'The Market for Irish Glass in the Nineteenth Century' (PhD Thesis)
  • Sarah Easterby-Smith, 'The commerce and culture of natural history collecting in Britain and France, c. 1750-1800' (ESRC PhD Thesis)
  • Philippa Hubbard, 'Eighteenth-Century Advertising: the Trade Card' (Leverhulme Project PhD Thesis)
  • Kate Smith, 'Perceptions and Constructions of Workmanship in Eighteenth-Century British Culture: the Case of Ceramics' (PhD Thesis)


Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Dr Felicia Gottman- webpage link here.
  • Dr Hanna Hodacs- webpage link here.
  • Dr Chris Nierstrasz- webpage link here.


Museum Fellow

  • Dr Helen Clifford- webpage link here.

My Publications