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A Caribbean Perspective on Consumer Culture (Trevor Burnard)


Seminar Reading: Morgan, Kenneth, ed., The Bright-Meyler papers: a Bristol-West India connection, 1732-1837 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

And to be announced

Further Reading

De la Fuente, Alejandro, Havana and the Atlantic in the Sixteenth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009).

Kris, Kay Dian, Slavery, Sugar and the Culture of Refinement: Picturing the West Indies, 1700-1840 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).

Duplessis, Robert, “Cloth and the Emergence of the Atlantic Economy,” in Peter A. Coclanis, ed. The Atlantic Economy during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. University of South Carolina Press, 2005, 72-94.

Hancock, David, Oceans of Wine: Madeira and the Organization of the Atlantic Market, 1640-1815 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).

Harms, Robert, The Diligent: a voyage through the worlds of the slave trade (New York: Basic Books, 2002)

Higman, B.W., Montpelier, Jamaica: A Plantation Community in Slavery and Freedom 1739-1912 (Kingston: University of West Indies Press, 1998),191-257

Klooster, Wim, Illicit Riches: Dutch Trade in the Caribbean, 1648-1795 (Leiden: KITLV Press, 1997).

Morgan, Kenneth, ed., The Bright-Meyler papers: a Bristol-West India connection, 1732-1837 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Shammas, Carole, “The Revolutionary impact of European demand for tropical goods,” in John J. McCusker and Kenneth Morgan, eds., The Early Modern Atlantic Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 163-86.

Sheller, Mimi, Consuming the Caribbean: from Arawaks to Zombies. London and New York: Routledge, International Library of Sociology Series, 2003.

SAMPLE ESSAY QUESTIONS (which may also act as questions to think about for the seminar)

“The labours of the people settled in those islands are the sole basis of the African trade: they extend the fisheries and the cultures of North America, afford a good market for the manufactures of Asia, and double, perhaps treble, the activity of Europe. They may be considered as the principal cause of the rapid motion which now agitates the universe. This ferment must increase, in proportion as cultures, that are so capable of being extended, shall approach nearer to their highest degree of perfection.” (Abbe Raynal). Discuss.

“Brown women consume; black women produce.” Discuss in respect of the figure of the mulatta in the late eighteenth century Caribbean.

“Addicted to vice, luxury and debt.” Is this an accurate description of eighteenth century West Indian planters?

To what extent were slaves both commodities and also consumers?