Bertie Mandelblatt completed a PhD in historical geography at the University of London in 2008 and then held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the Université de Montréal (2008-2010). During 2012/2013, she was a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).
Her research concerns food history, commodity exchanges and consumption in the French Atlantic world. Her current book project, entitled Feeding the French Atlantic: Slavery, Empire and Food Provision in the French Caribbean, 1626-1789, examines global and local scales of the food provisioning of colonial (largely slave) populations of the Franco-Caribbean. This project examines colonial food consumption, and where and how foodstuffs were both cultivated locally, and acquired through trade within the political economic context of early modern French expansion in the New World. A central concern of this project is the economic, political and environmental effects of slaves’ food consumption throughout the Caribbean, the broader French Atlantic and in Europe.
A second project treats the transatlantic and global circulation of French Caribbean rum and molasses between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. It traces the production to consumption circuits of these commodities, seeking to understand their transformation from by-products of sugar processing of little and exclusively local value in the mid-seventeenth century into goods of substantial economic and geopolitical value by the nineteenth century.
Bertie Mandelblatt’s recent publications include articles in Histoire, Économie et Société (2011), French History (2011), History of European Ideas (2008) and History Workshop Journal (2007), as well as chapters in The Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World (Palgrave, 2013), Handbook of Food History (OUP, 2012), and a forthcoming chapter on slavery, plantations and famine in Fear and Shaping of Early American Societies (Brill, 2015).