As a historian interested in the evolution of technology, I am interested in one basic question – how and why does technology change? What are the factors that push for this change?
I come to the question of technological change from a materials perspective, having been involved in textile crafts since an early age. However, it was during my time at the LSE’s Department of Economic History, first with a Research Masters and then with the PhD programme, that my ideas about the materiality of technology and its various outputs become solidified over time. The exceptional guidance and support of my supervisors Professor Tirthankar Roy and Professor Joan Roses, who challenged, critically evaluated and guided my work, has been fundamental to the research process as well as to my growth as a researcher.
In my doctoral research, I have looked at the issue of technological change through the lens of mechanisation in the early British cotton industry, guided by the imitation of the benchmark cotton products of the time – the Indian cotton textiles. I am interested in understanding the diverse aspects of technological change and innovation that impact workers, businesses and economies.
“From Muse to Machines: How Indian cottons steered the technological trajectory of the British cotton industry”