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Louise Moschetta

Louise Moschetta

History PhD


My PhD thesis, entitled “British Indians in the three Guianas and the paper cultures of indenture, 1838-1917”, traces the material cultures of indentured labour across British Guiana, Suriname, and French Guyana by focusing on the bedrock of this particular form of labour: paper. Paper was used in the contracts that testified to the consent of migrants, their immigration certificates, their passes, their identification tickets on board ships, and so on. The migrants themselves were perpetually counted and recounted, registered on weekly returns that emigration agents, or in the case of Suriname and French Guiana, consular representatives sent back for verification. My intervention is this focus on the materiality of paper, its mobility, power, fragility, in constructing and maintaining a system of indentured labour which itself traced the mobility of individuals while simultaneously questioning the production of indenture history through what is left of this bureaucracy in colonial archives.

I am supervised by Prof Tim Harper.

I completed my History BA at King's College, London under Prof Richard Drayton and came to the University of Cambridge for an MPhil in Historical Studies, writing a thesis on the development of Creole linguistics in Trinidad under Prof Alison Bashford.


I am able to supervise the following papers at the History Faculty:

- Paper 21 - Empires and World History from the Fifteenth Century to the First World War

- Paper 23 - Empires and World History since 1914

Other Professional Activities

Co-convenor of the World History Workshop, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018

Co-convenor of the Newnham History Forum, 2016/2017


  • Imperial History