This lecture revisits Marx’s fetishism of commodities and nineteenth-century liberal policies of “free trade” in relation to products (like tea, sugar, cotton, and opium) that expressed the colonial and imperial relations between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Lisa Lowe is Professor of Comparative Literature at UC San Diego, and an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Ethnic Studies and the Program in Critical Gender Studies. She has published books and articles on orientalism, immigration and globalization. She is the author of Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics, and is co-editor of The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital. Her lecture is drawn from her forthcoming book, The Intimacies of Four Continents.