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This panel gathers contributions that consider colonial plantations and their legacies as a central feature of that geopolitical economy and, hence, as core-sites for critical ethnographies of labour and capitalism to uncover the entangled formation of racist hierarchies and class struggles.
As anthropologists search for new horizons in and beyond Europe while the world is shattered by omnipresent economic inequality and an unequivocal resurgence of the far-right, it is important to review the conditions that gave birth to the contemporary geopolitical economy.
This panel calls for contributions that consider colonial plantations and their legacies as a central feature of that geopolitical economy. We call for critical engagements with the works of Sidney Mintz, Rolph-Michel Trouillot, Ann Stoler and other anthropologists who have for a long time identified plantations and other export industries as formative locations for a predatory-capitalist modernity and postmodernity that feeds on the production, distribution, and consumption of cheap commodities by way of changing, super-exploitative regimes of labour and their international division. Past and present plantations (and other export-oriented industries) are core-sites for critical ethnographies of labour and capitalism to uncover the entangled formation of racist hierarchies and class struggles.
We call for papers that view race-making and class struggles as intertwined processes. What are the linkages between pseudo-scientific theories that undergird racism and ethnicisation and capitalism's changing modes of exploitation? Which modes of exploitation require pseudo-scientific theories as antidotes to movements for workers rights and justice? How do plantation systems and other export-oriented industries adapt in a changing geopolitical economy? How are new modes of exploitation forged in those systems? How do we make good use of anthropology to support struggles confronting right-wing notions of race, ethnicity, and fake markers of non-economic identity, past and present?