SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Professor William Gervase Clarence-Smith

MA(Cantab) DIPPOL(Paris) PhD (London)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


William Gervase Clarence-Smith
Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Professor of the Economic History of Asia and Africa

Centre for Gender Studies


SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

Academic Staff, Centre of South East Asian Studies

SOAS Food Studies Centre

Advisory Committee Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre

Centre for Iranian Studies


London Middle East Institute (LMEI)


Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)


Professor William Gervase Clarence-Smith
Email address:


Commodities; diasporas; religions; labour; sexuality and the senses

Previous PhD Students

Syed Muhd Aljunied Khairudin, 'The Aftermath Of The Maria Hertora Riots In Colonial Singapore (1950-1953)', 2008

Maureen De Silva, 'Javanese Indentured Labour In British North Borneo, 1914 - 1932', 2009

Chiara Formichi, 'Kartosuwiryo's Role In The Creation Of The Islamic State Of Indonesia (Negara Ismal Indonesia), 1927 - 1949', 2009

Natasha Pairaudeau, 'Indians as French Citizens in Colonial Cochinchina, 1858-1940', 2009

Vu Hong Lien Warder, 'Mongol Invasions In Southeast Asia And Their Impact On Relations Between Dainiet And Champa (1226-1326)', 2009

Jessica Dionne, 'Malaria Workers in Southern Mozambique: State Employees in the Transition from Late Colonialism to Independence', 2011

Wan Faizah Bt Wan Yusoff, 'Malay Responses To The Promotion Of Western Medicine, With Particular Reference To Women And Child Healthcare In The Federated Malay States,', 2011

Erich Trenton De Wald, 'Vietnamese tourism in late-colonial central Vietnam, 1917-1945', 2012

Sina Machander, 'Penang's Malays and the Shaping of Colonial Rule, 1800-1832', 2012


PhD Students supervised
  • Emily Dawes, 19th Century Protestant Missionary Perceptions of Chinese Islam


History of tropical beverages, masticatories, livestock, and textiles; Middle Eastern diasporas; religion, slavery and sexual norms. Special reference to South East Asia.


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Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • South East Asia
Country Expertise
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish


Authored Books

Clarence-Smith, William (2015) The Economics of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade in the Nineteenth Century (Reprint of 1989 edition). Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

William, Clarence-Smith (2006) Islam and the Abolition of Slavery. London: Hurst & Company.

Clarence-Smith, William (2000) Cocoa and Chocolate 1765-1914. Routledge.


Clarence-Smith, William (2018) 'Equids in Mozambican history: the role of zebras, donkeys, horses, and their hybrids'. Africana Studia, (27), pp 111-125.

Clarence-Smith, William (2012) 'Grands et petits planteurs de caoutchouc en Afrique, 1934-1973'. Économie Rurale: Agricultures, Alimentations, Territoires, (330-31), pp 88-102.

Clarence-Smith, William (2011) 'The Portuguese empire and the “battle for rubber” in the Second World War'. Portuguese Studies Review, (19) 1-2, pp 177-196.

Clarence-Smith, William (2008) 'Islam and female genital cutting in Southeast Asia: the weight of the past'. Journal of Ethnicity and Migration, (3) 2, pp 14-22.

Clarence-Smith, William (2008) 'Eunuques et concubines dans le Sud-est asiatique musulman'. Le Banian 6, pp 56-66.

Clarence-Smith, William (2007) 'Eunuchs and concubines in the history of Islamic Southeast Asia'. Manusya, Journal of Humanities. Special issue on ‘Sexuality in Southeast Asian history', (s14), pp 8-19.

Clarence-Smith, William (2007) 'Islam and the abolition of slavery'. Centre for Islamic Studies Newsletter (London School of Theology) 16, pp 3-4.

Clarence-Smith, William (2004) 'Middle Eastern Migrants in the Philippines: Entrepreneurs and Cultural Brokers'. Asian Journal of Social Science, (32) 3, pp 425-57.

Clarence-Smith, William (2004) 'Elephants, horses, and the coming of Islam to Northern Sumatra'. Indonesia and the Malay World, (32, 93), pp 271-84.

Edited Books or Journals

Clarence-Smith, William and Freitag, Ulrike, (eds.), (2015) al-Shatât al Hadramî: tujjâr, ‘ulamâ’, wa rijâl dawlah Hadârim fi al-Muhît al-Hindî, 1750-1960m [(Arabic translation of Hadhrami traders, scholars and statesmen in the Indian Ocean, 1750s to 1960s; co-edited with Ulrike Freitag]. Tarim (Hadhramaut): Tarîm lil-Dirâsât wa al-Nashr.

Reyes, Raquel A. G. and Clarence-Smith, William, (eds.), (2012) Sexual Diversity in Asia, c. 600 - 1950. London, New York: Routledge.

Clarence-Smith, William and Topik, Steven, (eds.), (2003) The global coffee economy in Africa, Asia and Latin America, 1500-1989. Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapters

Clarence-Smith, William (2018) 'The industrialization of the developing world, and its impact on labour relations, 1840s to 1940s'. In: Hoofmeester, Karin and De Zwart, Pim, (eds.), Colonialism, institutional change, and shifts in global labour relations. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp 29-65.

Clarence-Smith, William (2017) 'Arab Muslim migrants in the colonial Philippines: the Hadhramaut connection'. In: Brehony, Noel, (ed.), Hadhramaut and its Diaspora: Yemeni Politics, Identity and Migration. London: I. B. Tauris, pp 124-141.

Clarence-Smith, William (2017) 'Migrantes del sur de Asia en Filipinas a lo largo del siglo XIX'. In: Elizalde, María Dolores and Huets de Lemps, Xavier, (eds.), Filipinas, siglo XIX: coexistencia e interacción entre comunidades en el imperio español. Madrid: Ediciones Polifemo, pp 363-392.

Clarence-Smith, William (2016) 'Chocolate consumption from the sixteenth century to the great chocolate boom'. In: Squicciarini, Mara P. and Swinnen, Johan, (eds.), The Economics of Chocolate. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 43-70.

Clarence-Smith, William (2016) 'Sephardic Jews from Morocco in the lusophone world, 1774-1975'. In: Alves Conde, Manuel Sílvio and Vaz do Rego Machado, Margarida and Serpa Silva, Susanna, (eds.), Percursos da história: estudos in memoriam de Fátima Sequeira Dias. Ponta Delgada (Azores): Nova Gráfica, pp 195-208.

Clarence-Smith, William (2015) 'Middle Eastern diasporas in Portugal and the Portuguese empire, c. 1750-1975'. In: Batou, Jean and Beauvois, Frédérique and David, Thomas and Humbert, Mathieu and Lutzelschwab, Claude, (eds.), Deux mondes, une planète/ Two worlds, one planet: mélanges offerts à Bouda Etemad/ essays in honor of Bouda Etemad. Lausanne: Éditions d’en Bas, pp 199-209.

Clarence-Smith, William (2015) 'Breeding and power in Southeast Asia: horses, mules and donkeys in the longue durée'. In: Henley, David and Schulte Nordholt, Henk, (eds.), Environment, trade and society in Southeast Asia: a longue durée perspective. Leiden: Brill, pp 32-45.

Clarence-Smith, William (2015) 'Middle Eastern states and the Philippines under early American rule, 1898-1919'. In: Peacock, Andrew C. S. and Teh Gallop, Annabel, (eds.), From Anatolia to Aceh: Ottomans, Turks and Southeast Asia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 199-219.

Clarence-Smith, William (2015) 'Africa’s “battle for rubber” in the Second World War'. In: Byfield, Judith A. and Brown, Carolyn A. and Parsons, Timothy and Sikainga, Ahmad A., (eds.), Africa and World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 166-182.

Clarence-Smith, William (2014) 'The Textile Industry of Eastern Africa in the Longue Durée'. In: Akyeampong, Emmanuel K. and Bates, Robert H. and Nunn, Nathan and Robinson, James, (eds.), Africa's Development in Historical Perspective. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, pp 264-294.

Clarence-Smith, William (2014) 'Slavery in early modern Russia'. In: Hanns, Stefan and Schiel, Juliane, (eds.), Mediterranean slavery revisited, 500-1800. Zurich: Chronos Verlag, pp 119-142.

Clarence-Smith, William (2013) 'Rubber cultivation in Indonesia and the Congo from the 1910s to the 1950s: divergent paths'. In: Frankema, Ewout and Buelens, Frans, (eds.), Colonial exploitation and economic development: the Belgian Congo and the Netherlands Indies compared. London: Routledge, pp 193-210.

Clarence-Smith, William (2013) 'Debt and the coercion of labour in the Islamic legal tradition'. In: Campbell, Gwyn and Stanziani, Alessandro, (eds.), Bonded labour and debt in the Indian Ocean World. London: Pickering & Chatto, pp 21-30.

Clarence-Smith, William (2013) 'The historical spread of Trypanosoma evansi (surra) in camels: a factor in the weakening of Islam?'. In: Emery, Ed, (ed.), Selected papers from the first international conference ‘Camel cultures: historical traditions, present threats and future prospects’. London: RN Books, pp 87-94.

Clarence-Smith, William (2013) 'Wajih al-Kilani, shaykh al Islam of the Philippines and notable of Nazareth, 1913-1916'. In: Yazbak, Mahmoud and Sharif, Sharif, (eds.), Nazareth history & cultural heritage: proceedings of the 2nd international conference, Nazareth, July 2 - 5, 2012. Nazareth: Nazareth Municipality, pp 172-192.

Clarence-Smith, William (2013) 'The battle for rubber in the Second World War: cooperation and resistance'. In: Curry-Machado, Jonathan, (ed.), Global histories, imperial commodities, local interactions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 204-223.

Clarence-Smith, William (2013) 'Islamic abolitionism in the western Indian Ocean from c. 1800'. In: Harms, Robert and Freamon, Bernard K. and Blight, David W., (eds.), Indian Ocean slavery in the age of abolition. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp 81-97.

Clarence-Smith, William (2012) 'The Hadhrami sada and the evolution of an Islamic religious international, c.1750s to 1930s'. In: Green, Abigail and Viaene, Vincent, (eds.), Religious internationals in the modern world: globalization and faith communities since 1750. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 233-251.

Clarence-Smith, William (2012) 'Female circumcision in Southeast Asia since the coming of Islam'. In: Raghavan, Chitra and Levine, James P., (eds.), Self-determination and women’s rights in Muslim societies. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, pp 124-146.

Clarence-Smith, William (2012) 'The expansion of cotton textile production in the western Indian Ocean, c1500-c1850'. In: Smith, Stefan Halikowski, (ed.), Reinterpreting Indian Ocean worlds: essays in honour of Kirti N. Chaudhuri. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd., pp 84-106.

Clarence-Smith, William (2012) 'Same-sex relations and transgender identities in Islamic Southeast Asia from the fifteenth century'. In: Reyes, Raquel A. G. and Clarence-Smith, William, (eds.), Sexual diversity in Asia, c. 600-1950. London: Routledge, pp 67-85.

Clarence-Smith, William and Eltis, David (2011) 'White servitude'. In: Eltis, David and Engerman, Stanley, (eds.), The Cambridge world history of slavery, volume 3, AD 1420-AD 1804. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 132-159.

Clarence-Smith, William (2011) 'The redemption of child slaves by Christian missionaries in Central Africa, 1878-1914'. In: Campbell, Gwyn and Miers, Suzanne and Miller, Joseph C., (eds.), Child slaves in the modern world. Athens, OH.: Ohio University Press, pp 173-190.

Clarence-Smith, William (2010) 'L’esclavage et son abolition dans l’histoire de l’Islam'. In: Stanziani, Alessandro, (ed.), Le travail contraint en Asie et en Europe, XVIIe-XXe siècles. Paris: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, pp 93-116.

Clarence-Smith, William (2010) 'La SOCFIN (Groupe Rivaud) entre l’Axe et les Alliés'. In: Bonin, Hubert and Bouneau, Christophe and Joly, Hervé, (eds.), Les enterprises et l’outre-mer français pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Pessac: Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Aquitaine, pp 99-113.

Clarence-Smith, William (2010) 'Diseases of equids in Southeast Asia, c.1800-c.1945: apocalypse or progress?'. In: Brown, Karen and Gilfoyle, Daniel, (eds.), Healing the herds: disease, livestock economies, and the globalization of veterinary medicine. Athens: Ohio University Press, pp 129-145.

Clarence-Smith, William (2010) 'Southeast Asia and China, c. 1800 to c. 1910'. In: Robinson, Francis, (ed.), The new Cambridge history of Islam, volume 5: The Islamic world in the age of Western dominance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 240-268.

Clarence-Smith, William (2009) 'The production of cotton textiles in early modern South-East Asia'. In: Riello, Giorgio and Parthasarathi, Prasannan, (eds.), The spinning world: a global history of cotton textiles, 1200-1850. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 127-142.

Clarence-Smith, William (2009) 'Entrepreneurial strategies of Hadhrami Arabs in Southeast Asia, c. 1750s-1950s'. In: Abushouk, Ahmed I. and Ibrahim, Hassan A., (eds.), The Hadhrami diaspora in Southeast Asia: identity maintenance or assimilation?. Leiden: Brill, pp 135-158.

Clarence-Smith, William (2009) 'The British “official mind” and nineteenth-century Islamic debates over the abolition of slavery'. In: Hamilton, Keith and Salmon, Patrick, (eds.), Slavery, diplomacy and empire: Britain and the suppression of the slave trade, 1807-1975. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, pp 125-142.

Clarence-Smith, William (2008) 'Église, nation et esclavage: Angola et Mozambique portugais, 1878-1913'. In: Pétré-Grenouilleau, Olivier, (ed.), Abolir l’esclavage: un réformisme à l’épreuve, France, Portugal, Suisse, XVIIIe-XIXe siècles. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, pp 149-167.

Clarence-Smith, William (2008) 'The global consumption of hot beverages, c. 1500 to c. 1900'. In: Nützenadel, Alexander and Trentmann, Frank, (eds.), Food and globalization: consumption, markets and politics in the modern world. Oxford: Berg, pp 37-55.

Clarence-Smith, William (2007) 'Southeast Asia and Southern Africa in the maritime horse trade of the Indian Ocean, c. 1800-1914'. In: Bankoff, Greg and Swart, Sandra, (eds.), Breeds of empire; the 'invention' of the horse in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa, 1500-1950. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, pp 21-32.

Clarence-Smith, William (2007) 'Scientific and technological interchanges between the Islamic world and Europe, c. 1450-c. 1800'. In: Cavaciocchi, Simonetta, (ed.), Relazioni economiche tra Europa e mondo islamico, secc. XIII-XVIII [Europe's economic relations with the Islamic world, 13th-18th centuries], vol. 2. Prato: Le Monnier, pp 719-737.

Clarence-Smith, William (2005) 'El cacao en Chiapas durante el largo siglo XIX''. In: Olivera, Mercedes and Palomo, María-Dolores, (eds.), Chiapas: de la independencia a la revolución. México, D.F: Publicaciones de la Casa Chata (Mexico), pp 233-51.

Clarence-Smith, William (2005) 'Islam and the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in the Indian Ocean'. In: Campbell, Gwyn, (ed.), Abolition and its aftermath in the Indian Ocean Africa and Asia. London: Routledge, pp 137-49.

Clarence-Smith, William (2005) 'Lebanese and other Middle Eastern migrants in the Philippines'. In: Usuki, Akira and Bajunid, Omar F. and Yamagishi, Tomoko, (eds.), Population movement beyond the Middle East; migration diaspora and network. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, pp 115-143.

Clarence-Smith, William (2004) 'Middle-Eastern entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, c. 1750-c.1940'. In: Baghdiantz McCabe, Ina and Harlaftis, Gelina and Pepelasē Minoglou, Iōanna, (eds.), Diaspora entrepreneurial networks, four centuries of history. Oxford: Berg, pp 217-44.

Clarence-Smith, William (2004) 'Cape to Siberia; the Indian Ocean and China Sea trade in equids'. In: Killingray, David and Lincoln, Margarette and Rigby, Nigel, (eds.), Maritime empires : British imperial maritime trade in the nineteenth century. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, pp 48-67.

Clarence-Smith, William (2004) 'Horse Breeding in Mainland Southeast Asia and its Borderlands'. In: Boomgaard, Peter and Henley, David, (eds.), Smallholders and Stockbreeders. History of Foodcrop and Livestock Farming in Southeast Asia.. Leiden: KITLV Press, pp 189-210.

Clarence-Smith, William and Topik, Steven (2003) 'Conclusion: new propositions and a research agenda'. In: Clarence-Smith, William and Topik, Steven, (eds.), The global coffee economy in Africa, Asia and Latin America, 1500-1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 385-410.

Clarence-Smith, William and Topik, Steven (2003) 'Introduction: coffee and global development'. In: Clarence-Smith, William and Topik, Steven, (eds.), The global coffee economy in Africa, Asia and Latin America, 1500-1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 1-17.

Clarence-Smith, William (2003) 'The coffee crisis in Asia, Africa and the Pacific, 1870-1914'. In: Clarence-Smith, William and Topik, Steven, (eds.), The global coffee economy in Africa, Asian and Latin America, 1500-1989. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 100-119.

Clarence-Smith, William (2003) 'The Coffee Crisis in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, 1870-1914'. In: Clarence-Smith, William and Topik, Steven, (eds.), The Global Coffee Economy in Africa, Asia and Latin America, 1500-1989.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 100-119.

Clarence-Smith, William (2002) 'The rise and fall of Hadhrami shipping in the Indian Ocean, c.1750 - c.1940'. In: Parkin, David and Barnes, Ruth, (eds.), Ships and the development of maritime technology on the Indian Ocean. London: Routledge Curzon, pp 227-258.

Clarence-Smith, William (2002) 'Horse trading: the economic role of Arabs in the Lesser Sunda Islands, c.1800 to c.1940'. In: de Jonge, Huub and Kaptein, Nico, (eds.), Transcending borders; Arabs, politics, trade and Islam in Southeast Asia. Leiden: KITLV Press, pp 143-162.

Clarence-Smith, William (2001) 'The spread of coffee cultivation in Asia, from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century'. In: Tuchscherer, Michel, (ed.), Le commerce du café avant l’ère des plantations coloniales. Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (Cairo), pp 371-84.

Clarence-Smith, William (2001) 'Indian and Arab entrepreneurs in eastern Africa, 1800-1914'. In: Bonin, Hubert and Cahen, M, (eds.), Négoce blanc en Afrique Noire; l’évolution du commerce à longue distance en Afrique Noire, du 18e au 20e siècles. Saint-Denis: Société Française d’Histoire d’Outremer, pp 335-49.

Clarence-Smith, William (2000) 'The Impact of 1898 on Spanish trade and investment in the Philippines'. In: Macdonald, Charles J-H, (ed.), Old ties and new solidarities: Studies on Philippine communities. Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press, pp 234-68.

Clarence-Smith, William (1997) 'Hadhramaut and the Hadhrami diaspora in the modern colonial era: an introductory survey [and] The economic role of the Hadhrami diaspora in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden [and] Hadhrami entrepreneurs in the Malay world c 1740-1940'. In: Freitag, Ulrike and Clarence-Smith, William, (eds.), Hadhrami traders scholars and statesmen in the Indian Ocean 1750s to 1960s. Leiden: E J Brill.

Clarence-Smith, William (1997) 'The Rivaud-Hallet plantation group in the economic crises of the inter-war years'. In: Lanthier, Pierre and Watelet, Hubert, (eds.), Private enterprises during economic crises: tactics and strategies. Ottawa: Legas, pp 117-32.

Monographs and Working Papers

Clarence-Smith, William (2009) The battle for rubber in the Second World War: cooperation and resistance. Open University and Institute for the Study of the Americas, Commodities of empire working paper No. 14.

Book Reviews

Clarence-Smith, William (2010) 'Synthetic and temperate rubber in the interwar years and during the Second World War'. Journal of Global History, (5) 1, pp 171-176.

Clarence-Smith, William (2007) 'Review Essay: Continental European Views of the Slave Trade'. Slavery & Abolition, (28) 1, pp 127-131.


Clarence-Smith, William (2014) 'Mules in the “English world”: cultural rejection versus practical utility'.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 11:37 Europe/London.