By Rachel Deng


Tea has long been one of the most popular commodities in the world. In her book, A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World, UC Santa Barbara professor Erika Rappaport takes a deeper look into the historical value of the global tea industry, and how it ultimately shaped our contemporary consumer society.

Upon receiving the American Historical Association's 2018 Jerry Bentley Prize in World History for her book, we had the opportunity to interview Rappaport, who is Chair of the History Department.

In the interview, she delves into the tea industry, British identity, and the rise of consumerism and marketing, applying a perspective she refers to as “global imagination.”

Please click on the video below to hear Rappaport discuss her award-winning book.

Rachel Deng is a UC Santa Barbara student majoring in Film and Media Studies.