Katharine Frederick wins International Economic History Association dissertation prize

Dr. Katharine Frederick
Dr Katharine Frederick

Assistant Professor Katharine Frederick has won the IEHA 20th-21st Century Dissertation Prize at the World Economic History Congress 2022 in Paris. Frederick received the award for her thesis ‘Deindustrialization in East Africa: Textile Production in an Era of Globalization and Colonization 1830-1940’.

“It was an immense honour to have my dissertation recognised in this by the international community”, Frederick says. “I hope that this will help bring even more attention to the vibrant and growing field of African Economic History.”

PhD dissertation on deindustrialisation in East Africa

In her doctoral thesis on the deindustrialisation of East Africa, Frederick sought to answer the question of when and why the handicraft cloth industry in that region fell into decline. For while the cotton textile industry has served as a springboard to broader industrial and economic development in a number of world regions, (cloth) industries in East Africa eventually fell into rapid decline.

Frederick argues that previous research has placed undue weight on the overriding power of global forces, and that the causes of deindustrialisation can instead be found in a combination of time-dependent local factors.

World Economic History Congress

The World Economic History Congress is the triennial conference of the International Economic History Association (IEHA), which includes 45 economic history associations from 38 countries across the globe.

The Congress also presents several IEHA awards, including the award for the best PhD dissertation on 20th and 21st century, this year for doctoral theses written between 2017 and 2021.