Announcing “The Sugar Plantation in India and Indonesia Industrial Production, 1770–2010”

Ulbe Bosma just realesed his new book entitled The Sugar Plantation in India and Indonesia, Industrial Production, 1770–2010

Cambridge UP, 2013

Description :

“European markets almost exclusively relied on Caribbean sugar produced by slave labor until abolitionist campaigns began around 1800. Thereafter, importing Asian sugar and transferring plantation production to Asia became a serious option for the Western world. In this book, Ulbe Bosma details how the British and Dutch introduced the sugar plantation model in Asia and refashioned it over time. Although initial attempts by British planters in India failed, the Dutch colonial administration was far more successful in Java, where it introduced in 1830 a system of forced cultivation that tied local peasant production to industrial manufacturing. A century later, India adopted the Java model in combination with farmers’ cooperatives rather than employing coercive measures. Cooperatives did not prevent industrial sugar production from exploiting small farmers and cane cutters, however, and Bosma finds that much of modern sugar production in Asia resembles the abuses of labor by the old plantation systems of the Caribbean.

Uses fresh archival material to produce new insights into the histories of industrialization of sugar production of the largest sugar producers in Asia in the early twentieth century
Gives a long-term analysis of how peasant economics in Asia were mobilized to produce for the global market
Combines a broad global perspective with comparative analysis of rural change”

[Conference] Indian Women within Indentured Labour in Mauritius in the Nineteenth Century

Announcing confernce “Indian Women within Indentured Labour in Mauritius in the Nineteenth Century”

by Lorna Mungur, MA Student, Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University

Wednesday, 30 October 2013, 116 Peterson Hall, 4:45 pm

Following the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, Indian indentured labourers migrated to Mauritius to work within the plantation economy of the island. Approximately 453,000 indentured labourers migrated to the island between 1834 and 1920. The focus of this paper is Indian women in Mauritius at the time of indentureship. Women’s social positions were defined by their role as wives and mothers, and colonial legislation on Indian marriages legally defined women as the subordinate of their husbands. Indian women’s position within nineteenth-century colonial Mauritian society illustrates that work was not synonymous with liberation; women relied on relationships with men to access social and economic capital. Thus, migration did not create new opportunities; rather it enforced women’s inferiority and dependence on their male counterparts within the colonial landscape, reaffirming patriarchal control over Indian women. Hence, this paper argues that Indian women’s opportunities in Mauritius lay in marriage, not in work, creating a state of dependency where women had to rely socially, economically and legally on men.