CAPASIA will follow four general working packages. They are envisioned as task-based assignments that help to divide the project’s intellectual outputs among the research team. Whereas packages 1 and 2 are concerned with individual factories, packages 3 and 4 emphasize connections across factories.
Work package 1. Infrastructure
● Concerned with the physical environment and structure of the factories. The designated researcher will draw on a range of sources including prints, maps, and views of factories and local language materials. The database deliverable for this package will be an interactive map with click points for individual factories. Upon clicking, the researcher will find a plethora of images related to that factory.
Work package 2. Procurement
● Covers the process of commodity procurement and production in different factories of the Indian Ocean and examines links among producers, intermediaries, and merchants. One database deliverable from this package will be a ‘Prosopography of Asian Merchants.’
Work package 3. Intra-Asian Trade
● Focuses on the network logic of spatially-dispersed factories through an examination of the trade in specific commodities. Among others, the database deliverable will come in the form of extensive lists of commodities traded between factories. From this, we plan to build up a composite picture of intra-Asian trade.
Work package 4. Information
● Investigates factories as nodes of commercial information exchange (prices, interest rates, metallic monies, contracts, etc.). Although of less direct relevance, also studies factories as spaces for accumulating ethnographic/scientific information. One database deliverable for this will be a much-expanded version of the ‘Mapping Monetary Pluralism’ sub-project (initial details of which can be found in the relevant blog post).