HISTORIES SERIES - Colonial Cultivation on a Tropical Island: Early Singapore's Environmental Story by Dr Christina Skott
Date : 20 Sep 2018
Time : 19:00 - 20:30
Venue : National Library Board Singapore
Level 5, Possibility Room
100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
Download Poster

This lecture series is organized by the National Library Board Singapore, in collaboration with the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Department of History and Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore.


When the British first set foot on Singapore island, it had been covered in primary forest. However, within 50 years of their arrival, shifting cultivation, ill-defined land policies and unsuccessful new cash-crops resulted in the almost total loss of primary forest cover. Labour division and farming techniques mirrored the island’s multi-ethnic makeup as well as socio-economic conditions driven by colonial rule and local developments, which in turn both reflected and propelled British and global concerns about the climatic and ecological effects of cultivation.

Join Dr Christina Skott as she connects early Singapore’s environmental story to the vibrant historiography of colonial agriculture and ecology.


Christina Skott is a historian at the University of Cambridge and has published widely on cultural and scientific exchanges between Asia and Europe. She is currently conducting research on the environmental impact of plantation economies in the Malay Peninsula, global networks of botanical exchange and the circulation of agricultural knowledge.


Jonathan Rigg is Director of the Asia Research Institute and Professor of Geography at the National University of Singapore.


The event has been fully subscribed. We regret that we are unable to accept any further registrations.



This series highlights research on historical and related matters in Singapore and Southeast Asia, creating an appreciation of the role of humanities and social sciences research in contemporary society.