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Week 15: : Useful Knowledge in the West Indies

Seminar Questions

  • Why were West Indian planters interested in science and knowledge?
  • What was the function of the Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge?
  • What different sources of information are brought together in the periodical?
  • What social functions did the periodical fulfil in the West Indies?

Seminar Readings

** ‘Introduction’, Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1 (1835), iii-viii

** ‘List of Members’ and ‘Resolutions of the Society’, Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1 (1835), 1-4

** ‘Extracts from a Pamphlet by Arthur Meadows’, Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1 (1835), 17-20

** ‘On the Medicinal and Other Uses of Plants Growing in the Bahama Islands’, Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1 (1835), 23-30

** ‘Notices’, Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1 (1835), 39-40

** ‘On the Cultivation of Tobacco’, Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1 (1835), 52-59

** ‘Correspondence’, Journal of the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1 (1835), 179-181

*Drayton, Richard, Nature's Government: Science, Imperial Britain and the 'Improvement' of the World (New Haven, CT, 2000), 83-128

* Dibbell, Jeremy, ‘The Caribbean and Bermuda’, in Suarez, Michael and H. R. Woudhuysen (eds), The Book: A Global History (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Additional Readings

Primary

Institution and First Proceedings of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, Established in Barbados (Barbados, 1781)

Agricola’s Letters and Essays on Sugar Farming in Jamaica (Kingston, 1845)

For further printed material related to the Caribbean, see the Digital Library of the Caribbean: www.dloc.com

Secondary

Ballance, Virginia C, ‘A New Look at Old Books: The Collection of the Nassau Public Library in the Mid-19th Century’, The International Journal of Bahamian Studies, 19 (2013)

Boultbee, Paul, ‘A Note on the Bahama Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge’, The Journal of Caribbean History, 15 (1981)

Curtin, Philip D, The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex: Essays in Atlantic History (Cambridge, 1998)

Delbourgo, James and Nicholas Dew (eds), Science and Empire in the Atlantic World (Abingdon, 2008)

Delbourgo, James, ‘Common Sense, Useful Knowledge, and Matters of Fact in the Late Enlightenment: The Transatlantic Career of Perkins’s Tractors’, The William and Mary Quarterly, 61(2004)

Drayton, Richard, Nature's Government: Science, Imperial Britain and the 'Improvement' of the World (New Haven, CT, 2000)

Hall, Catherine, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830–1867 (Cambridge, 2002)

Heuman, Gad, The Caribbean: A Brief History (London, 2013)

Lambert, David, White Creole Culture, Politics and Identity during the Age of Abolition (Cambridge, 2010)

Lent, John, Third World Mass Media and Their Search for Modernity: the Case of Commonwealth Caribbean, 1717-1976 (London, 1977)

McClellan, James, Colonialism and Science: Saint Domingue and the Old Regime (Chicago, IL, 2010)

Ortega, José Guadalupe, ‘Machines, Modernity, and Sugar: The Greater Caribbean in a Global Context, 1812-50’, Journal of Global History, 9 (2014)

Pactor, Howard, Colonial British Caribbean Newspapers: A Bibliography and Directory (New York City, NY, 1990)

Schiebinger, Londa, Plants and Empire (Harvard, MA, 2009)

Tann, Jennifer, ‘Steam and Sugar: The Diffusion of the Stationary Steam Engine to the Caribbean Sugar Industry, 1770-1840’, History of Technology, 19 (1997)

Seminar Powerpoint

Powerpoint - Week 15

Seminar Handout

Handout - Week 15