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Joseph Hodge, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Associate Professor

Teaching Fields

Degrees

Research Interests

Dr. Hodge's research contributes to three broadly defined and related areas of scholarship: the history of development both as a set of ideas and state practices in the British colonial empire and post-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean; the history of science and experts in the former British colonies, particularly in the area of ecology and agriculture; and comparative environmental history (conservation practices, land use management, and agricultural development) both in Britain and the colonies, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

A major theme of his work has been to examine the legacies of the late colonial period and to highlight their relevancy for development and environmental policies and practices today. In his book, Triumph of the Expert: Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism, he examines the way that development as a framework of ideas and institutional practices emerged out of the strategic engagement between science and the state at the climax of the British Empire. The most striking feature of British colonialism in the 20th century, he argues, was the increasing use of science and expertise, joined with the new bureaucratic capacities of the state, to develop the natural and human resources of the empire. In the wake of the Great Depression, the possibility of planned, rational state intervention helped reinvigorate the imperial mission, inspiring a far-reaching process of policy reform that was given further urgency by the onset of the Second World War. The new initiative generated an immense need for new kinds of knowledge and organization, making late British colonial imperialism, in many ways, an imperialism of science, technology and the authority of experts.

He is currently working on a new book project, After Empire: Late Colonial Experts, Postcolonial Careering and the Making of International Development, which explores the subsequent careers of the last generation of British colonial officials and technical experts (those hired after 1945) who went on to work for various international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank, or else for British donor agencies and consultancy firms, after they retired from the colonial service. The study thus employs the motif of “careering” to chart their life trajectories across transnational spaces and trans-historical time periods as a way of understanding the transition from a late colonial world to a new, post-colonial international order.

Courses Offered

Publications

Books:

Triumph of the Expert: Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism, Series in Ecology and History, Series Editor: James L.A. Webb Jr, (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2007). http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/Triumph+of+the+Expert

Science and Empire: Knowledge and Networks of Science in the British Empire 1800-1970 , co-edited with Brett Bennet (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Developing Africa: Concepts and practices in twentieth-century colonialism, co-edited with Gerald Hödl and Martina Kopf (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014)

Articles and Chapters:

“Beyond Dependency: North-South Relationships in the Age of Development,” in: The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, Oxford Handbooks in History Series, edited by Martin Thomas and Andrew Thompson (Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2016).

“Writing the History of Development (Part 1: The First Wave),” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Winter 2015): 429-63.

“Writing the History of Development (Part 2: Longer, Deeper, Wider),” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring 2016).

“Introduction,” with Gerald Hödl, in: Developing Africa: Concepts and Practices in Twentieth-Century Colonialism, edited by Joseph Hodge, Gerald Hödl and Martina Kopf, Studies in Imperialism Series (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014): 1-34.

“Epilogue: taking stock, looking ahead,” in: Developing Africa: Concepts and Practices in Twentieth-Century Colonialism, edited by Joseph Hodge, Gerald Hödl and Martina Kopf, Studies in Imperialism Series (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014): 367-76.

“Science and Empire: An Overview of the Historical Scholarship,” in: Science and Empire: Knowledge and Networks of Science across the British Empire, 1800-1970, edited by Brett Bennett and Joseph Hodge (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011): 3-29.

“The Hybridity of Colonial Knowledge: British Tropical Agricultural Science and African Farming Practices at the End of Empire,” in Science and Empire: Knowledge and Networks of Science in the British Empire 1850-1970, edited by Brett Bennett and Joseph Hodge (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011): 209-31.

“Colonial Experts, Developmental and Environmental Doctrines and the Legacies of Late British Colonialism,” in Cultivating the Colony: Colonial States and Their Environmental Legacies, edited by Karen Oslund, Neil Brimnes and Niklas Thode Jenson and Christina Folke Ax, (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2011): 300-26.

“British Colonial Expertise, Postcolonial Careering and the Early History of International Development,” Journal of Modern European History, Special Issue on “Modernizing Missions: Approaches to ‘Developing’ the Non-Western World after 1945”; Vol. 8, No. 1 (2010): 24-46.

“Colonial Foresters versus Agriculturalists: The Debate over Climate Change and Cocoa Production in the Gold Coast,” Agricultural History, Vol. 83, No. 2 (Spring 2009): 201-20.

“Recent Comparative Approaches to Imperial History and Settler Colonialism,” Journal of Southern African Studies, 34, 2 (2008): 451-454.

“Science, Development and Empire: The Colonial Advisory Council on Agriculture and Animal Health, 1925-1943,” The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 30, No. 1 (January 2002): 1-26.