The mobile colour of labour: plantations and other unequal settlements
Cristiana Bastos (University of Lisbon)
Paper short abstract:
I will discuss the theoretical, methodological, empirical and public challenges of a project that addresses the social production of racialized categories for workers that move across geopolitical units, past and present.
Paper long abstract:
I will discuss the multiple challenges of an anthropology research project involving different space and time zones and cross-disciplinary perspectives around a common question: how race and racialized categories are produced in contexts of migrant, mobile, forced and other modes of "imported" labour. Inspired by plantation literature and by the racialization of cross-oceanic enslaved and indentured labourers, the project addresses case studies of contract labour in 19th century sugar plantations in colonial British Guiana and Hawaii, industrial New England work hierarchies and racializations, the mobility of labour and technology in the cocoa and coffee economies of colonial São Tomé, the political re-routing of Portuguese migrant islanders into colonial settlements, contemporary mobile labour in southern Italian agro-industries, domestic work in Mauritius and France, and the uses of plantation references in contemporary economies and cultural productions.
Anthropological knowledge production and the narratives, regimes and governance of mobility