Tinker, Tailor, Vagrant, Sailor: Colonial Mobility and the British Imperial State, 1880-1910
Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 2005
I am currently revising my dissertation for publication. It examines encounters between colonial sojourners and British imperial bureaucrats both inside Britain and outside the boundaries of the empire, to illuminate the role of travel networks, stories, and ideologies in the formation of modern bureaucratic categories of citizenship. It is filled with characters and stories that are hard to forget — circus performers and impostors and eye doctors and miners and consuls and befuddled Foreign and Colonial Office bureaucrats. It holds intimate stories of migration, mishap, and precarity in the same hand as big stories of global integration and imperial power.
For this project I conducted archival research at the National Archives, the Oriental and India Office Collection of the British Library, and the London Metropolitan Archives in the UK; and the Trinidad and Tobago National Archives, the Barbados Archives, and the Barbados Public Library.
I served as Research Director for this public television documentary, which aired on PBS nationwide and is now included in the Zinn Education Project’s list of recommended Teaching Materials.
For this project, I conducted photographic and textual archival research at the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands College Archives; CNMI Museum of History and Culture; the Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam; the War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam; the Bishop Museum and Archives, Honolulu; and the Pacific Collection, Hamilton Library, University of Hawai’i at Manoa.