Prof. Kent's research and teaching focus on global capitalism in imperial and post-colonial contexts. Trained in history and social theory at the University of Chicago, her work connects the temporal rhythms, expansionist needs, and spatial integration of capitalist reproduction to governance and work regimes in East and Southeast Asia.
Prior to coming to Boston College she was as Harper Collegiate Fellow and Assistant Collegiate Professor in the Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago.
“Spaces of circulation: Capital and Commercial Statistics in Late Qing China,” Spaces of Circulation and Colonial/Imperial Landscapes: Criticisms and Challenges Symposium, European Society for the History of Science Biennial Conference, London, Sep 15-17, 2018
“Why the Commodity Form Matters: Lessons from Chinese Treaty Ports,” Trading Objecthood: Global Business and the Language of Natural History in the Long Nineteenth Century, History of Science Workshop, Princeton University, Feb 8-9, 2019
“Commercial Circulation and Abstract Domination” Capitalism and Social Theory Conference, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, April 12-13, 2019
Her current book project,“Coercive Commerce: Governance in the Late Qing, 1842-1911” contributes to the fields of colonial governmentality, histories of capitalism, and modern Chinese history. Re-examining the forms of coercion produced by Euroamerican trade and diplomacy, the book argues treaty relations, commercial regulations, and modern bureaucratic practices responded to and enacted connections and imperatives generated by transnational capital reproduction.
Her next project will focus on the transnational production of broadcast television in East and Southeast Asia.