Plantation Metaphors and Intellectual History

Monday 20 June 2022 (14:00-15:30)

Dr Shirley Ye:

Photo of Kris Manjapra

Speaker: Professor Kris Manjapra

Kris Manjapra's visit in 2022 is supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

Plantations are places of death, to be sure. On the other hand, one of the central, framing metaphors of modern times was rooted in the reproduction of the plantation complex – the metaphor of vibrant freedom. The metaphorics of freedom determined the social and material transformations of the plantation complex during the long nineteenth century, galvanizing the entangled actions of oppressors, beneficiaries, and the enslaved and oppressed, alike. This talk, informed by Caribbean Thinking about vibrancy and vitality, explores the unexpected historical meaning that emerged in and through the bondage of the plantation complex.

Speaker biography

 Kris Manjapra, Professor of History at Tufts University (Boston, USA) works at the intersection of comparative global history and the critical study of race and colonialism.  He aims to break down disciplinary boundaries and explode the walls separating the university from larger and more diverse communities.  He is the founder of a site-based nonprofit, Black History in Action, dedicated to the restoration and reactivation of a Black cultural heritage center in Cambridge, MA.  Kris also co-organizes a free online community certificate course, entitled Black Futures Matter, serving people’s assemblies across the US and the Caribbean. 


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