Shinobu Majima is Professor of world economic history at Gakushuin University, Tokyo. Her broad range of interest has centered around the history of consumption and living standards in Britain and its colonies. After having worked at the Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change at Manchester, her interest broadened to include the history of Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Singapore. She is currently writing up a history of inland trading routes, native markets and consumption, based on funded research expeditions into the rainforest of Malaysian Borneo. During her sabbatical leave at the III, she has further fostered her interdisciplinary approaches in four strands: (1) to develop two international collaborative research projects, joining scholars of the UK and Japan, together with Asia and Africa (titled ‘Inequality and Precarity in International Comparison: Rethinking Social Polarisation in Japan and the UK from Global Perspective’, and ‘Environment, Ethics and Consumer Culture: Critically Revisiting the History of Consumption’); (2) to study the past investigations into the costs of living in Borneo in comparison to other Asian and African colonies; (3) to study land settlement policies in pre-independence Malaysia in relation to resource and labour management, and (4) to compare Japanese and British household expenditure surveys and the consumption patterns of top income earners in both countries since the 1980s.
Learn about the Dissolva project, on Borneo activities connecting students and the community members of Ulu Papar, Sabah, Malaysia