About

I am a historian of science, empire and geography. I am currently preparing to defend my PhD at the University of Cambridge, where my thesis examines the role of global comparison in early scientific and imperial understandings of the Himalaya.

I have researched and published on scientific instruments, altitude sickness and the imperial origins of supposedly universal categories. More broadly, I am interested in developing new methodologies for using geographical features like mountains and deserts as sites and scales for global histories.

My next project will trace contested ideas of the ‘Habitable Globe’ across Central Asia, Persia and Arabia in the nineteenth century.

Prior to coming to Cambridge, I studied and taught history in both Australia and Canada.

‘The Snowy Range from Tyne or Marma,’ from George Francis White’s Views in India (1838). This is a typically romanticised image of Himalayan exploration, centred on a European traveller gazing heroically out to the mountains through a telescope. The Bhotiya porters in the foreground nevertheless inadvertently reveal the way the explorer depended heavily on local expertise and labour.

Header Image: www.davidrumsey.com