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Mega-Plantations in Southeast Asia

Landscapes of Displacement

Miles Kenney-Lazar and Noboru Ishikawa

Southeast Asia has become one of the world's hot spots for industrial agriculture and tree plantation development. The region is the source of 76 percent of the world's natural rubber, 86 percent of the world's palm oil, and 59 percent of the

Open access

Cristiana Bastos

In this article, I discuss the role of plantation museums in confronting, legitimizing, and filtering the racialized violence on which the plantation economy stood. I start with a brief review of the literature on plantation societies, discuss the

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Desirée Kumpf

Goût biologique et labour dans les plantations de thé indiennes Cet article adopte une perspective multi‐espèces sur le goût pour explorer comment l’agriculture biologique affecte à la fois les relations non humaines et le travail humain dans les plantations de thé indiennes. Les planteurs de thé biologique utilisent le goût pour évaluer les conditions du sol et les changements climatiques et pour appliquer des pratiques biologiques en conséquence. L’article soutient que, d’une part, les planteurs cultivent stratégiquement des formes de collaboration entre les théiers, les champignons, les vaches et les micro‐organismes du sol pour améliorer le goût des cultures en monoculture. D’autre part, puisque ces formes de collaboration requièrent et reproduisent le travail précaire des travailleurs et des superviseurs du thé, leur résistance aux pratiques biologiques affecte également les goûts. Le terroir du thé biologique se caractérise à la fois par l’unité des espèces dans les monocultures et par les inégalités du travail dans les plantations.

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Anna Tsing

– what I call patchy. From the first, then, I’ve thought of Anthropocene through the figure of the plantation. By plantation I mean those ecological simplifications in which living things are transformed into resources – future assets – by removing them

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David Nicol

Readers of this journal will by now be familiar with the surprise discovery of six pages from a hitherto unknown quarto edition of the lost 1623 play A Tragedy of the Plantation of Virginia . The pages, found stuffed behind a wall in the Cock

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Pioneers of the plantation economy

Militarism, dispossession and the limits of growth in the Wa State of Myanmar

Hans Steinmüller

The characteristic mobility of highland populations in Southeast Asia relied to a large extent on their particular adaption to an ecological environment: swidden cultivation of tubers on mountain slopes. This ecology corresponded to cosmologies in which potency was limitless, or at least had no fixed and delimited precinct (as did the rice paddies and Buddhist realms in the valleys). Military state building, modern transport, and new crops and agricultural technologies have effectively ended swidden cultivation. In this article, I follow the pioneers of the plantation economy in the Wa State of Myanmar, who dispossess local populations of their land and employ them as plantation labour. The limits of growth and potency they encounter are (a) in the natural environment and (b) in the resistance of local populations. Yet, even though there are such limits, the potency to which these pioneers aspire is still limitless. It is however channelled through a new economy of life, epitomised in the plantation, nourished in excessive feasting, and maintained by the kinship dynamics of capture and care.

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Robert L. Paquette

Most historians, even specialists in the field of slavery, know little about the largest and bloodiest slave insurrection in United States history. The revolt broke out in a sugar-producing region in the Territory of Orleans in 1811, one year before Louisiana's statehood. A disciplined army of rebels composed of men and women, African-born slaves and creole slaves, mulattoes and blacks, skilled slaves and field hands, marched down the east bank of the Mississippi River in quickstep toward New Orleans. Stunned eyewitnesses observe slaves in military formation with drums beating and flags waving. At least some of the leaders of the revolt were uniformed, mounted on horseback, and wielded rearms. Charles, a mulatto slave driver allegedly from Saint-Domingue (Haiti), led the uprising. The 1811 insurrection raises big questions about the causes and content of slave rebellion. Why did the insurrection break out when and where it did? How were slaves of different types from different plantations mobilized to revolt? Was the Louisiana insurrection influenced by the slave revolution in Saint-Domingue? Or were the causes of the revolt local? Why did free-people of color assist whites in suppressing the movement? What were the goals of the rebels? Summary justice led to the grisly executions and mutilations of scores of slaves. Did torture and terror have the desired results for the master class?

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Affective Solidarities?

Participating in and Witnessing Fair Trade and Women’s Empowerment in Transnational Communities of Practice

Debarati Sen

When we were young it was the age of unions; now it is the age of NGOs, they are the ones who can bring real reform to these plantations with their new ideas and projects. See how they have involved all these young people from the West to improve

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Crisis and retirement

Alienation in Kerala's tea belt

Jayaseelan Raj

The recent economic crisis in the Indian tea industry has shattered the life of the plantation workers in the tea belt of Peermade, Kerala. They are the descendants of the Tamil “outcaste” indentured laborers who were brought to work in the

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“Who Leaves Home If There is a Choice?”

Migration Decisions of Women Workers on Tea Plantations in India

Supurna Banerjee

“This city has shown me life in a way I never knew before. My mother wants me to come back home to the plantations; ‘it is here that we belong,’ she says. But I ask her, ‘where is home for the poor in this country?’” (Neerja, Nepali, unmarried