April Merleaux

Areas of Expertise

food, agriculture, and the environment

domestic and international policy

food justice and food systems sustainability

racism in the food system

histories of capitalism, race, and empire

environmental humanities & cultural studies

drug history and policy

trade policy and tariffs

Scholarship/Creative Work


Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015). Winner of the 2016 Myrna F. Bernath Prize from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.


“Equal Risks: Workplace Discrimination, Toxic Exposure, and the Environmental Politics of Reproduction, 1976-1991,” Environmental History (forthcoming, July 2021).

“Drugs, Empire, and U.S. Foreign Policy,” Companion to U.S. Foreign Policy, Colonial Era to the Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020).

“Forum: World War I and the Origins of the Modern Food System,” Global Food History 5, no. 3 (Forthcoming, Fall 2019).

“Sugar, Surveillance, and Citizenship: The Global Crisis of 1919-1920 in Buenos Aires and New York,” Global Food History 2, no. 1 (Spring 2016).

“Sweetness, Power, and Forgotten Food Histories in America’s Empire,” Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 12, no. 1-2 (Spring 2015).

“Sugar Trust,” “Sugar, Unrefined,” and “Legislation, Historical,” in The Oxford Companion to Sweets, edited by Darra Goldstein. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

“The Political Culture of Sugar Tariffs: Immigration, Race, and Empire, 1898-1930,” International Labor and Working Class History Journal 81 (Spring 2012).