Sarah Lowengard deposited Expanding on the (Already Global) History of Turkey Red in the group Science Studies and the History of Science on Humanities Commons 3 months ago
This essay, which expands on my talk at the Colors and Cultures / Couleurs et Cultures conference in April 2021, charts the history and my plans for a broad exploration of Turkey red as both subject and as object in global history. In it, I move between the personal—the compulsions that led me to undertake this series of studies, and which continue to guide the way I pursue it—and more typically academic descriptions of knowledge and objects, their materiality and representation. At the heart of the project is a color-and-process combination called “Turkey red;” a bright and lasting shade specifically for cotton fibers. My project will address new ways to consider of what “Turkey red” has been to people in the West, the East, the Global South and elsewhere, and ways it might serve as a model to examine other complex technological systems that simultaneously affect political and social economies, and are affected by changes in sciences, technology, and human expectations of the world and of things in it.