Professor Gregory Barton

Professor Gregory Barton

Professor of History,
Humanities (Arts)

Professor of History,
Arts (SoHCA)

Professor of History,
Humanities (Arts)


Professor Gregory Barton is an historian that specializes in the profound global impact of environmental reforms related to forestry, agriculture, and human-induced climate change. He focuses on issues of deforestation in the developing world, particularly India, the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia. His research continues to be broadly interdisciplinary and has shaped a number of disciplines outside of historical studies. He is currently finishing a book titled The Global History of Organic Farming, under contract with Oxford University Press. 

He received his PhD from Northwestern University in 1999. Over the course of his career he has held a Fulbright  Fellowship and two ARCs.  He has numerous books and articles including:

Informal Empire and the Rise of One World Culture, (Palgrave Macmillan, Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies book series, 2014).

Lord Palmerston and the Empire of Trade  (New York: Longman, 2012)

Empire Forestry and the Origins of Environmentalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) Re-issued in paperback (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

American Environmentalism, edited with introduction and notes (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001).

Major Grants:

 ‘The global history of organic farming,’ The Australian Research Council, Gregory Barton Chief Investigator, DP130104633. Year 2013 $30,000/Year 2014 $30,000

 ‘Saving the world the first time: global climate theory and desiccation 1765-1960,’ The Australian Research Council,  Gregory Barton Chief Investigator, DP110104024.   Year 2011, $94,331/Year 2012, $90,434/Year 2013, $81,846

2001 Fulbright Scholarship, USA State Department Teaching/Research Award, Dhaka  University, Bangladesh.

Before coming to Western Sydney University Professor Barton was a Senior Fellow at Centre for Environmental History at The Australian National University. He has also worked at Macquarie University, and Indiana University. He has served as an elected member of the Academic Board and Secretary of the NTEU at The Australian National University. Before that he served on the Governing Board of the Institute for Advanced Study, Indiana University.  He is currently Advisor for Dean’s Scholars, in the Humanities and Communication Arts. 

This information has been contributed by Professor Barton.


  • PhD Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Humanities (Arts)
  • Arts (SoHCA)
  • Humanities (Arts)


Phone: (02) 9772 6322
Location: 1.1.61

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 101910 Global History, 2015



  • Barton, G. (2018), 'The Global History of Organic Farming', : Oxford University Press 9780199642533.
  • Barton, G. (2014), 'Informal Empire and the Rise of One World Culture', : Palgrave 9780230232341.
  • Barton, G. (2012), 'Lord Palmerston and the Empire of Trade', : Prentice-Hall 9780321397737.

Chapters in Books

  • Barton, G. and Bennett, B. (2013), 'The Environment', Cambridge History of Australia. Vol. 2. The Commonwealth of Australia, Cambridge University Press 9781107011540.
  • Barton, G. (2012), 'Informal empire : the case of Siam and the Middle East', Endless Empire: Spain's Retreat, Europe's Eclipse, America's Decline, University of Wisconsin Press 9780299290245.
  • Barton, G. and Bennett, B. (2011), 'A Case Study in the Environmental History of Gentlemanly Capitalism: The Battle Between Gentlemen Teak Merchants and State Foresters in Burma and Siam, 1827-1901', Africa, Empire and Globalization: Essays in Honor of A. G. Hopkins, Carolina Academis Press 9781594609152.
  • Barton, G. (2011), 'Albert Howard and the decolonization of science : from the Raj to organic farming', Science and Empire: Knowledge and Networks of Science across the British Empire, 1800-1970, Palgrave 9780230252288.

Journal Articles

  • Churchill, A., Zhang, H., Fuller, K., Amiji, B., Anderson, I., Barton, C., Barton, C., Carrillo, Y., Catunda, K., Chandregowda, M., Igwenagu, C., Jacob, V., Kim, G., Macdonald, C., Medlyn, B., Moore, B., Pendall, E., Plett, J., Post, A., Powell, J., Tissue, D., Tjoelker, M. and Power, S. (2022), 'Pastures and climate extremes : impacts of cool season warming and drought on the productivity of key pasture species in a field experiment', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol 13 .
  • Bennett, B., Barton, G., Hifazat, S., Tsuwane, B. and Kruger, L. (2021), 'Sustaining the University of Johannesburg and Western Sydney University partnership in the time of COVID : a qualitative case study', Yesterday and Today, vol 24 , pp 71 - 91.
  • Bennett, B. and Barton, G. (2021), 'Temporality, space, and networks in Indo-Pacific environmental histories', Pacific Historical Review, vol 90, no 2 , pp 140 - 156.
  • Barton, G. and Bennett, B. (2021), 'Decolonizing informal empire : the loss of the British teak trade in Thailand, 1941-1958', Pacific Historical Review, vol 90, no 2 , pp 211 - 232.
  • Bennett, B. and Barton, G. (2018), 'The enduring link between forest cover and rainfall : a historical perspective on science and policy discussions', Forest Ecosystems, vol 5, no 5 .
  • Barton, G. (2017), 'The myth of the peasant in the global organic farming movement', Itinerario, vol 41, no 1 , pp 75 - 91.
  • Bennett, B. and Barton, G. (2017), 'Generalizations in global history : dealing with diversity without losing the big picture', Itinerario, vol 41, no 1 , pp 15 - 25.
  • Barton, G. (2015), 'History and audience', Britain and the World, vol 8, no 1 , pp 1 - 4.
  • Barton, G. (2015), 'History for moguls', Britain and the World, vol 8, no 2 , pp 155 - 159.
  • Barton, G. (2014), 'Is meritocracy history?', Britain and the World, vol 7, no 1 , pp 1 - 5.
  • Barton, G. (2014), 'Conspiracy theory and its discontents', Britain and the World, vol 7, no 2 , pp 169 - 172.
  • Barton, G. (2013), 'The history Magna Carta', Britain and the World, vol 6, no 1 , pp 1 - 4.
  • Barton, G. (2012), 'The British world model of world history', Britain and the World, vol 5, no 1 , pp 1 - 11.
  • Barton, G. and Bennett, B. (2011), 'Edward Harold Fulcher Swain's vision of forest modernity', Intellectual History Review, vol 21, no 2 , pp 135 - 150.
  • Barton, G. (2011), 'Monarchy and the World', Britain and the World, vol 4, no 2 , pp 189 - 198.
  • Bennett, B. and Barton, G. (2010), 'Forestry as foreign policy Anglo-Siamese relations and the origins of Britain's informal empire in the teak forests of Northern Siam, 1883-1925', Itinerario, vol 34, no 2 , pp 65 - 86.
  • Barton, G. and Bennett, B. (2010), ''There is a pleasure in the pathless woods' : the culture of forestry in British India', British Scholar, vol 3, no 2 , pp 219 - 234.
  • Barton, G. (2010), 'Environmentalism, development and British policy in the Middle East 1945-65', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol 38, no 4 , pp 619 - 639.
  • Barton, G. (2009), 'Abolishing the east : the dated nature of orientalism in the definition and ethical analysis of the Hindu faith', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol 29, no 2 , pp 281 - 290.

Previous Projects

Title: The global history of organic farming
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Gregory Barton
Years: 2014-04-23 - 2015-12-31
ID: P00021994

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