Downloadable PDF of Program (October 23 update): Conf Program Oct 23 Update

Thursday, October 24, 2013

4:00-5:30 p.m. Pick up registration packets at the John Carter Brown Library (Main Green, Brown University, corner of George and Brown Streets)

5:30 p.m.    Stuart B. Schwartz (History, Yale University), “Hot Lands and Cold Lands. A Caribbean Search for the New Brazil in the later 17th century.” Salomon Center, Room 101 (De Ciccio Family Auditorium), Main Green, Brown University. Reception and viewing of exhibition to follow, MacMillan Reading Room, John Carter Brown Library. Free and open to the public.

Friday, October 25, 2013—Alumnae Hall Auditorium, Brown University, 194 Meeting Street (individual sessions are free and open to the public; registration required for full participation, including meals and closing reception)

8:30-9:00 a.m.     Registration and Coffee with light morning snacks

9:00-9:15 a.m.     Welcome and Introductory Remarks. Neil Safier (Director and Librarian, John Carter Brown Library), Margot Nishimura (Deputy Director, John Carter Brown Library), and Julie Chun Kim (Assistant Professor of English, Fordham University)

9:15-10:45 a.m.     SESSION 1: THE ARCHIVE OF SUGAR

  • Philip Gould, chair (English, Brown University)
  • Kim F. Hall (English and Africana Studies, Barnard College), “‘That Clyme richly rewards a little Care’: Georgic Invention in the Early Modern Caribbean”
  • Lauren F. Klein (Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology), “Sugar, Slavery, and the Sense of Taste”
  • Cristobal Silva (English, Columbia University), “Writing Sugar: On the Formal Limits of Sugar Knowledge”

10:45-11:00 am     Break

11:00 am-12:30 p.m.     SESSION 2: EARLY MODELS OF PRODUCTION

  • Harold Cook, chair (History, Brown University)
  • Wim Klooster (History, Clark University), “Cultivating the Transnational Sugar Business: The Dutch in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic”
  • Bertie Mandelblatt (History and Caribbean Studies, University of Toronto), “‘À la façon du Brésil’: The Dutch Model of Sugar Plantations in the Anglo- and Franco-Caribbean and the Circulation of Knowledge in Overlapping Atlantic Worlds”
  • James Robertson (History & Archaeology, University of the West Indies, Mona), “Seventeenth-Century Jamaica’s Shift to Sugar: Causes and Consequences”

12:30-2:00 p.m.     Lunch


  • Joyce E. Chaplin, chair (History, Harvard University)
  • Eric Otremba (History, Macalester College), “Experimental Sugar: The Role of the West Indies Within English Natural Science During the Seventeenth Century”
  • Rachel Laudan (Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin), “The Business of Confectionary: Convent Sweets in the Iberian Empires”
  • Daniel B. Rood (History, University of Georgia), “Fractured Commodities: Sugar-Mills and the Production of Difference in the Atlantic World”
  • David Roth Singerman (History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), “Fraud, Suspicion, and Control in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Sugar Trade”

3:45-4:00 p.m.     Break


  • Roquinaldo Ferreira, chair (History, Brown University)
  • John E. Crowley (History, Dalhousie University), “Sugar Machines: Picturing Industrialized Slavery”
  • Rafael Ocasio (Spanish, Agnes Scott College), “‘Unseen’ Scenes in a Cuban Ninteenth-Century Sugarmill: Anselmo Suárez y Romero’s Black Costumbrista Articles”
  • Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (Hispanic Studies, Vassar College), “Bagasse: Caribbean Art and the Debris of the Plantation”

5:45-6:45 p.m.    Exhibition walkthrough with K. Dian Kriz, curator of Sugar and the Visual Imagination in the Atlantic World, c. 1600-1860, and Susan Danforth, Curator of Maps and Prints, John Carter Brown Library. John Carter Brown Library, MacMillan Reading Room.

Saturday, October 26, 2013—Alumnae Hall Auditorium, Brown University, 194 Meeting Street (individual sessions are free and open to the public; registration required for full participation, including meals and closing reception)


8:30-9:00 a.m.     Registration and Coffee with light morning snacks

9:00-10:30 a.m.     SESSION 5: COMPETING ECONOMIES

  • Holly Snyder, chair (John Hay Library, Brown University)
  • Juan A. Giusti-Cordero (History, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras), “Sugar and Mules: Contraband Networks of the Insular and Continental Caribbean, Seventeenth through Eighteenth Centuries”
  • Jennifer Anderson (History, Stony Brook University), “Mahogany Islands in a Sea of Cane: The Challenges of Competing Land Uses in the Eighteenth-Century Caribbean”
  • Ernesto Bassi (History, Cornell University), “Sugar, Cotton, or Nothing at All: Caribbean Colombia’s Failed Efforts to Establish an Economic Base during the Age of Revolutions”

10:30-10:45 a.m.     Break

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.     SESSION 6: SUBSISTENCE AND RESISTANCE

  • James Egan, chair (English, Brown University)
  • James F. Dator (History and Africana Studies, Goucher College), “The Antigua Conspiracy of 1736 and the Moral Economy of the Gods”
  • Lauren Derby (History, UCLA), “The Mysterious Murder of Javier: Politics, Sorcery and Cattle in the Dominican Republic”
  • Michelle Burnham (English, Santa Clara University), “Breadfruit, Plantain, and Sugarcane: Transplantation in Revolutionary Jamaica”

12:15-2:00 p.m.     Lunch

2:00-3:45 p.m.     SESSION 7: LANDSCAPES OF LABOR

  • Seth Rockman, chair (History, Brown University)
  • Lydia Mihelic Pulsipher (Geography, University of Tennessee), “The Landscapes of Everyday Life on an Eastern Caribbean Sugar Island”
  • Louis P. Nelson (Architectural History, UVA), “Improvement and Resistance on Early Jamaican Sugar Plantations”
  • Francisco A. Scarano (History, University of Wisconsin-Madison), “When Slave-based Sugar Plantations and Free Peasants Coexist: Lessons from Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico”
  • Evelyn Hu-DeHart (History and Ethnic Studies, Brown University), “Sugar and Coolies: The Use of Chinese Contract Laborers on the Sugar Plantations of Nineteenth-Century Cuba”

3:45-4:00 p.m.     Break

4:00-5:30 p.m.     SESSION 8: LEGACIES

  • Linda L. Sturtz, chair (History, Beloit College)
  • Jillian E. Galle (Monticello) and Suzanne Francis-Brown (University of the West Indies Museum), “Unraveling the Material World of Enslaved Laborers in Colonial Jamaica”
  • Miguel Ivan Fernando Pena (The Barbados Museum and Historical Society), “Refining Sugar: The Re-Representation of Sugar as Barbadian Heritage”
  • Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (English, Northeastern University), “The Cost of Sugar: Narratives of Loss of Life and Limb”

5:30-5:45 p.m.    Closing Remarks. Neil Safier (Director and Librarian, John Carter Brown Library), Julie Chun Kim (Assistant Professor of English, Fordham University), and Chris Iannini (Associate Professor of English, Rutgers)

5:45-6:45 p.m.     Closing Reception. John Carter Brown Library, MacMillan Reading Room

Sunday, October 27, 2013


10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Private tour of the John Brown House and presentation on resources for the study of slavery and commerce at the Rhode Island Historical Society by C. Morgan Grefe, Executive Director.

Please note that there is a $15 fee for the visit; advance reservation and payment required through the conference registration page. (Limited space still available; please see Margot Nishimura, if interested.)