Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

 The UP Asian Center will be holding a book talk and launch, "Sugar and the Indian Ocean World: Trade and Consumption in the Eighteenth-Century Persian Gulf" on 26 June 2024, 2:00 PM, PHT (GMT+8), via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public but signing in to a (free) Zoom account is required.


This book launch and discussion highlights the economic integration of the Indian Ocean world through the lens of sugar trade in the 18th century. This discussion on the history of sugar trade provides an oft forgotten economic and political prelude to the rise of globalized sugar trade and industry in the 19th century of which the Philippines was an important participant.
The book, in particular, traces the history of the sugar trade and its consumption in the Persian Gulf during the 18th century, this book focuses on the interplay of social, economic and political interests created by this popular commodity.
Until now, the study of sugar has focused mainly on its significant growth in European markets from the mid-17th century and, more recently, parallel developments in East Asia. This online event explores how the sugar trade also developed in, and became important to, the early modern Indian Ocean World that stretched from West to Southeast Asia.


Assistant Professsor, University of Tokyo
DR. NORIFUMI DAITO is Assistant Professor at the Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo, Japan. He received his PhD in History from Leiden University, The Netherlands, in 2017. Daito specializes in the history of the early modern Persian Gulf with its global interactions with the Indian Ocean World and the Dutch East India Company. His research interests lie in the transnational circulation of people, ideas, practices and commodities across West Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia. Apart from his Indian Ocean research, Daito engages in translating and editing Dutch historical documents on Tokugawa Japan.


Associate Professor, Peking University
Dr. Guanmian Xu is an associate professor in the Department of History at Peking University. He obtained his Master’s degree in History and Philosophy from the Chinese University of Hongkong in 2017 and his Ph.D. from Leiden University in 2021. He has broad research interests spanning global and more-than-human history focusing on the History of Southeast Asia, the Dutch Empire, History of Overseas Chinese, Global History, and Colonial History. See his full profile.
Senior Lecturer, University of Stockholm
Birgit Tremml-Werner is an Adjunct Professor of the Asian Center, Univesity of the Philippines Diliman and a senior lecturer at Stockholm University in Sweden. She has a Mag. phil. and Dr. phil. degrees in History (with a minor in Japanese Studies) from the University of Vienna. She is the author of Spain, China, and Japan in Manila, 1571-1644: Local Comparisons, Global Connections (2015). See full profile.
Professor, UP Asian Center
Dr. Joefe B. Santarita is Professor and former Dean of the University of the Philippines’ Asian Center. In 2012, he was conferred the Doctor of Philosophy in South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. He has been serving as an affiliate faculty of the UP Open University’s ASEAN Studies Graduate Program, Tri College PhD Philippine Studies Program, and the School of Library and Information Studies. His research interest focuses on Indian studies, migration studies, Philippine culture and society, maritime history, and Southeast Asian political economy. He has published several books, chapters, and journal articles. Currently, he serves as the President of the ASEAN Studies Association of the Philippines. See his full profile
For inquiries, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 891-8500 loc. 3586.

The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.