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    The rise and fall of Imperial Chemical Industries: synthetics, sensism and the environment

    Leslie, Esther (2023) The rise and fall of Imperial Chemical Industries: synthetics, sensism and the environment. Pivots. London, UK: Palgrave. ISBN 9783031374319.

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    This book provides a history of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), a large Britain- based chemical firm which was a major industrial player in the twentieth century. Once a model for Britain’s industrial reach and dominance, ICI collapsed in the mid-2000s, with some still profitable elements sold off to other chemical firms. The book focuses on the firm’s origin site in the Northeast of England, around Middlesbrough, engaging the remnants of the company magazine, oral histories and social media posts, and material artifacts in the world, to relate a history of the social, environmental, cultural and imaginative and bodily impact of the presence (and then absence) of ICI. This unique work is open to coincidence and speculation, drawing on science fictional and urban myth narratives which emanate from the area. Through the lens of global narratives of industrial and philosophical innovation, it inquires into uncommon and diverse themes, such as the manufacture of Quorn, the place of photographic mediation of the factory, and industrial disease. Setting out from a context of heavy industry and material processing, the book seeks to stimulate poetic and creative thinking around the ways in which people’s lives were enmeshed with synthetic chemicals and the dreams that seemed to ooze and seep from them as by-products.


    Item Type: Book
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Esther Leslie
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2023 14:59
    Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 14:59


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