CHOCOLATE, WOMEN & EMPIRE | A Social History of Chocolate with Emma Robertson

Thursday 28 May 2015, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Chocolat, from romantic gift to guilty indulgence, chocolate has a special place in Western popular culture. But what are the hidden histories behind this luxurious commodity? This illustrated lecture examines chocolate production from cocoa bean to chocolate box, illuminating the dynamics of gender, race and empire which have structured the cocoa chain.

Using a varied range of sources, and drawing on the author’s own relationship to the industry, this talk reconnects the people and places at different stages of chocolate production. Emma Robertson stresses the need to recognise the complex histories of empire and labour which have made such pleasurable consumption possible.

DR EMMA ROBERTSON is Lecturer in History at La Trobe University. Her book Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History was published by Manchester University Press in 2009. Dr Robertson has worked as a researcher at the Universities of Leeds Metropolitan and Loughborough in the United Kingdom and is a regular contributor to CocoaReworks, a website dedicated to the experiences of women who worked at the Rowntree confectionery factory in York, England.

photographer unknown, Hand-packing chocolate assortments at Rowntree & Co., York, undated, personal collection (courtesy of Joe Dickinson)

SOLD OUT This event is currently at capacity. If you wish to be added to the waitlist, please email or call The Johnston Collection on (03) 9416 2515 and we will contact you if places become available.