The smells and tastes of memory: accessing transnational pasts through material culture

Emma Frances Bond, Mona Bozdog

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores how creative material methodologies can be employed to help remember or re-imagine a dynamic transnational past. It takes as a case study the history of the sugar trade in Greenock, a town on the West Coast of Scotland. Known as ‘Sugaropolis’ in the nineteenth century, Greenock was once a global hub for sugar refining, which led to it forming a global network of connections that stretched far beyond its principal trade with the West Indies. We show how participatory and co-design methodologies have been employed to re-evoke this sugary history, for example in the recreation of recipes and oral history gathering, and how we can use newly modelled interactable things in order to create sensory experiences that take us back to the past. We conclude that privileging the material sense of sugar as an object allows the imagination to play an active role in engaging with its complex, transnational history through encouraging new sensory memories to emerge in the present.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMemory, mobility and material culture
EditorsChiara Giuliani , Kate Hodgson
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003112457
ISBN (Print)9780367631918, 9780367631925
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameStudies in cultural history


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