World Sugar History Newsletter

Number 50, September 2018

In this issue:

  1. From the Editors
  2. Book Reviews
  3. Recent Publications
  4. Archaeological Research on Sugar Production
  5. Recent PhD Theses
  6. Online Materials


This marks our 50th issue, which is cause for celebration or at least recognition that the Newsletter has proved its viability and longevity. When Bill Albert and Adrian Graves, along with everyone else involved, put together the first issue in 1982, they probably had no idea that it would still be appearing thirty-six years later, now edited by individuals who have never met and live on opposite sides of the world. The four pages of issue <>Number 1<> were printed on both sides of a folded A3 sheet and sent by surface or airmail to a long list of sugar aficionados around a world which hadn’t yet properly been connected to the other two w’s of the World Wide Web. Print and subscriptions have long since been dropped and we now publish entirely online. The Newsletter owes its continued existence to our remarkably enthusiastic reviewers, to those who send us sugar-related information, to publishers for their co-operation in supplying reviewers’ copies, and to the University of Toronto’s Centre for Computing in the Humanities for providing a publication platform. A big thank-you to all.


Abdul Sheriff, Vijayalakshmi Teelock, Saada Omar Wahab, and Satyendra Peerthum, Transition from Slavery in Zanzibar and Mauritius (Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, 2016), Pp. xiv, 166, ISBN 978-2-86978-680-6 (pb).

This book’s stated goal – to compare the transition from slavery to free labour in Zanzibar and Mauritius in light of similar developments in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds – is a commendable one. There is a pressing need for such comparative studies, and the history of these two islands during the nineteenth century makes them suitable candidates for such an undertaking. In addition to a shared experience as multicultural plantation societies, Zanzibar and Mauritius both figure prominently in the economic and political history of the western Indian Ocean during this era and have been the subject of the kind of scholarly research that can facilitate attempts to compare important developments in the increasingly globalized world that is a hallmark of the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, however, this book also demonstrates that writing such a comparative history requires more than just laudable intentions. Doing so requires a solid command of relevant published scholarship and factual information, a commitment to contextualize local developments as fully as possible, and a determination to advance well-developed analytical arguments clearly and concisely.

In their introductory chapter, Abdul Sheriff and Vijayalakshmi Teelock discuss the methodologies and issues that guide this study, including the applicability of Atlantic models of slavery and abolition to the Indian Ocean world, the relevance of ideas about ‘Islamic’ slavery to understanding slavery in Zanzibar, and the sources available to historians who work on slavery and emancipation in the western Indian Ocean. In chapter two, they provide overviews of the trades that funnelled hundreds of thousands of enslaved African and other men, women, and children to these islands during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the slave systems that developed on them. Saada Omar Wahab focuses on slave emancipation on Zanzibar between the 1860s and circa 1905 in the volume’s third chapter, while in chapter four Satyendra Peerthum reviews manumission and slave emancipation in Mauritius between the advent of British rule in 1811 and the demise of the post-emancipation ‘apprenticeship’ system in 1839. In chapters five and six, Wahab and Peerthum examine, respectively, the role that suria, an Islamic institution involving female slaves, played in nineteenth-century Zanzibari life, and the fate of Mauritian ex-apprentices between 1839 and 1872. In the book’s conclusion, Sheriff and Teelock briefly summarize the similarities and differences they discern between the Zanzibari and Mauritian experiences with slave emancipation during the nineteenth century.

Wahab’s chapter on suria and Peerthum’s on Mauritian ex-apprentices after 1839 stand out to a certain degree from the other chapters in this volume because they attempt to break new ground in Zanzibari and Mauritian historiography. Wahab focuses on an institution and a population that have hitherto not received as much scholarly attention as they deserve, while Peerthum seeks to bring new information to his account of social and economic transformations in post-emancipation Mauritius. Despite their efforts, neither chapter has the kind of impact that it might have otherwise had because the authors fail to discuss the issues under consideration in light of important existing scholarship on these topics. Wahab’s chapter would have benefitted from a careful consideration of how important studies of female slaves and concubinage in Africa and the wider Indian Ocean world (e.g., Claire C. Robertson and Martin A. Klein, eds., Women and Slavery in Africa (1983); Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller, eds., Women and Slavery, vol. 1, Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic (2007)) can deepen our understanding of the ways in which the Zanzibari case study contributes to our knowledge and understanding of female slavery along the East African coast and elsewhere in the region. Peerthum’s discussion does little to contribute to understanding how life in post-emancipation Mauritius compared with that elsewhere in the nineteenth-century colonial plantation world, especially in the Caribbean and on the neighbouring Mascarene island of Réunion where the work of historians such as Michael Craton, Sudel Fuma, Douglas Hall, Thomas C. Holt, Pieter Emmer, Karen Fog Olwig, Mary Turner, and Michel-Rolph Trouillot are directly relevant.

The problems that characterize these two chapters are emblematic of the conceptual and other shortcomings that plague this volume in general and keep it from ultimately being little more than a narrative account of events on these islands during the nineteenth century. The lack of analytical rigour is apparent in the absence of a clearly articulated thesis and the fact that discussions about Zanzibar do not engage critically with such classic works as Frederick Cooper’s Plantation Slavery on the East Coast of Africa (1977) and From Slaves to Squatters: Plantation Labor and Agriculture in Zanzibar and Coastal Kenya, 1890-1925 (1980), and more recent scholarship such as Elizabeth McMahon’s Slavery and Emancipation in Islamic East Africa: From Honor to Respectability (2013). Discussions about slave emancipation likewise do not engage critically with recent scholarship, such as the collections edited by Derek R. Peterson, Abolitionism and Imperialism in Britain, Africa, and the Atlantic (2010) and Robert Harms, Bernard K. Freamon, and David W. Blight, Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition (2013). Erroneous statements, such as Peerthum’s assertion that land in nineteenth-century Mauritius was priced in Dutch rixdollars rather than the piastres (Spanish dollars) that were the standard currency of account on the island into the 1870s, invariably raise questions about the accuracy of the factual information being discussed. In sum, analyzing, much less comparing, the transition from slavery to free labour in two plantation societies that shared certain commonalities but also differed from each other in significant ways requires a readiness to examine these transformative processes in all of their intriguing and challenging complexity.

Richard B. Allen

Richard B. Allen is the author of Slaves, Freedmen and Indentured Laborers in Colonial Mauritius (Cambridge University Press, 1999), European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500-1850 (Ohio University Press, 2014), and numerous articles and book chapters on the social and economic history of Mauritius, colonial plantation societies and economies, and free and forced labour migration in the Indian Ocean. He is also the editor of Ohio University Press’s Indian Ocean Studies Series.

Duncan Du Bois, Sugar and Settlers: A History of the Natal South Coast 1850-1910 (Bloemfontein: SUN Media, 2016 revised), Pp. 415, ISBN 978-1-920382-70-4 (hb); 978-1-920382-72-1 (eb).

Sugar and Settlers is a lengthy, detailed, and essentially chronological monograph based on Duncan du Bois’ recent PhD thesis for the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Du Bois has gone through pretty thoroughly official archive records, the early Natal press, and what exists in the form of other surviving published written evidence – the traditional sources – for the decades before Union. The southern coastal districts, notably the one-time counties of Alexandria and Alfred, form an area of Natal that historians have neglected. There is neither the great thrust of Overberg imperial expansion to block Boers from acquiring a port via Pietermaritzburg and Durban nor the panorama of struggle between imperialism and the formidable Zulu kingdom. Nor are there such memorable actors as Shepstone or Bishop Colenso or characteristic institutions such as the boarding schools of the Midlands. The south coast was annexed by the British mainly to control and delimit the Natal frontier and in its obscurity was actually called Nomansland for some time.

The records Du Bois interprets are replete with the exploits of early British entrepreneurs and to a large extent are dominated by the struggles, usually unsuccessful, of these individuals to get the state support needed to build up their affairs. The south coast above all needed infrastructure. Numerous small rivers had wide, treacherous, and shifting beds, which have always made seaborne traffic to river ports unrealistic. The alternative was a system of roads and bridges for which endless unrequited pleas were made. Only in 1901 was Port Shepstone finally linked to Durban by rail and the all-bridge road/rail route there was completed as late as 1959.

The conservatives were not entirely wrong in their sense of priorities. The south coast has never been a great source of wealth. The most striking new phenomenon in response to the coming of the train was the blossoming of a seaside tourist business. The coast was - at its peak - the source of only 15% of Natal’s sugar cane in 1960, although it is true that the first cane planted came from the Isipingo area, today very much a part of the south side of Durban. As we know from the work of Peter Richardson, success with this crop, which only finally manifested itself when it could feed the mining/urban complex of the interior, depended on a large, reliable labour force at harvest time. Because of the reluctance of the local African population to play this role, this meant dependence on indentured Indian labour who began to arrive from 1860.

The most successful sugar-cane farmers here were the Reynolds brothers, who employed just under 1000 workers, both south and north of Durban, in 1906. With the Crookes family, who also came to own a large mill, they formed a key part of a tiny ‘sugarocracy’ that eventually dominated provincial capitalist agriculture marked by ostentatious manor houses. The Reynolds’ interests seemed to have enough capital to invest in a large mill, to introduce the innovative tramline system to bring the cane to the mill quickly, and to tide themselves over during slack market phases - an issue not taken up in this work - all critical to their successes. Du Bois notes the attempts of the Protector of Indian Labour, J.T. Polkinghorne, to investigate the shocking health and working conditions that were part of the Reynolds’ operations. The family were too influential ever to be prosecuted for their abuses. Yet by the early 20th century, Indian-descended small farmers and traders outnumbered the white population and effectively filled this economic niche, explaining why they were bitterly resented by most whites. Du Bois cannot find much on this aspect in the records; he does, however, devote a chapter to Indians set off from the bulk of the study.

The following chapter on the African population mostly reveals the indifference and ignorance of colonial dignitaries and officials, even though this was far and away the majority of the local population. The overall impression is one of limited conflict with whites and entry to the market through the sale of cattle and maize. Despite the rarity of violent confrontation, it is noteworthy that white settlement quickly led to the formation of rifle clubs as the first associational activity. This included shooting clubs for white women, the first in the colony.

Whites resented the extent to which land remained in African hands. From early on, a desirable chunk of South Coast land near Durban was made over to the people under Mnini who moved from the Bluff to accommodate white settlement. Indeed, the initial proposal of Theophilus Shepstone after annexation was for the whole territory to remain in tribal hands, a proposal that was overruled. The hut tax, which did perhaps help to drive more Africans to work on infrastructure projects and cane farms, was a chief source of state revenue. Moreover ‘in the 1870s and 1880s the food economy of Alexandra and Alfred Counties was dominated by Africans.’ (227)

After reading this, one might wish that there was a history of the region through African eyes. What might we think of the legitimacy of the white land proprietorship associated with Dick King, the famous hero of the ride to Grahamstown, which seems to have been the basis of crown land rights? What do we know about the missions, often American, that actually preceded white settlement entirely? To what extent was this population Zulu or did it become ‘Zulu’ in this era? How should we understand the African political scene of this era in terms of recent literature? For this we need a newer kind of post-colonial and social history. What du Bois does offer is a reliable and convenient guide to 19th-century colonial documentation.

Bill Freund

Bill Freund is professor emeritus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where he taught economic history, and visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He writes about urban, labour, and developmental history, mainly about South Africa. The third edition revised of his The Making of Contemporary Africa was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016 and his Twentieth Century South Africa: A Developmental History is due out with Cambridge University Press imminently.



Tim Barringer & Wayne Modest (eds.), Victorian Jamaica (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2018), Pp. 744, ISBN: 9780822360537 (hb); 9780822360681 (pb); 9780822374626 (eb). [From the editors’ introduction: “By attempting to address the totality of Jamaican life in the sixty-four years of Victoria’s reign — including social, economic, cultural, and even spiritual issues — and by examining the material survivals of Jamaican architecture and objects, visual representations as well as textual sources, this book aims to provide a portrait of the Victorian age in a Caribbean colony.”]

Gwyn Campbell (ed.), Bondage and the Environment in the Indian Ocean World (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), Pp. 304, ISBN: 9783319700274 (hb); 9783319700281 (eb). [From the publisher’s notes: “Monsoon rains, winds, and currents have shaped patterns of production and exchange in the Indian Ocean World (IOW) for centuries. Consequently, as this volume demonstrates, the environment has also played a central role in determining the region’s systems of bondage and human trafficking.” Two chapters, by Sue Peabody and by Alessandro Stanziani, are devoted to 18th/19th-century Réunion island. For more information, see]

James F. Hancock, Plantation Crops, Plunder and Power: Evolution and Exploitation (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), Pp. 196, ISBN: 9781138285750 (hb); 9781138285767 (pb); 9781315268781 (eb). [The first chapter is devoted to sugar.]

Misir Prem (ed.), The Subaltern Indian Woman: Domination and Social Degradation (Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), Pp. 292, ISBN: 9789811051654 (hb); 9789811051661 (eb). [From the publisher’s notes: “The book owes its origins to the 2017 centennial commemorative event celebrating 100 years of the abolition of the indenture system of Indian labor that victimized and dehumanized Indians from 1834 through 1917.” For more information, see]


Karin Lurvink, Beyond Racism and Poverty: The Truck System on Louisiana Plantations and Dutch Peateries, 1865-1920 (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2018), Pp. 292, ISBN: 978-90-04-35181-3 (hb).

Daniel B. Rood, The Reinvention of Atlantic Slavery: Technology, Labor, Race, and Capitalism in the Greater Caribbean (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), Pp. 288, ISBN: 9780190655266 (hb). [From the publisher’s notes: “Offers a new version of capitalism, technology and slavery that differs from the Cotton South version that dominates nineteenth-century history. Shows how slaves were simultaneously crucial to technological innovation while constantly pushing against the system of slavery as a whole. Brings together history on the Greater Caribbean, including Brazil, the Upper South, and Cuba.”]

Caitlin Rosenthal, Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018), Pp. 312, ISBN: 9780674972094 (hb). [From the publisher’s notes: “A unique contribution to the decades-long effort to understand New World slavery’s complex relationship with capitalism. Through careful analysis of plantation records, Caitlin Rosenthal explores the development of quantitative management practices on West Indian and Southern plantations.” The author outlines her book in the Boston Review of 20th August 2018:]

Gregory Rosenthal, Beyond Hawai’i: Native Labor in the Pacific World (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018), Pp. 320, ISBN: 9780520295063 (hb); 9780520295070 (pb). [From the publisher’s notes: “Bridging American, Chinese, and Pacific historiographies, Beyond Hawai’i is the first book to argue that indigenous (Hawaiian) labor—more than the movement of ships and spread of diseases—unified the Pacific World.”]

Rick Shine, Cane Toad Wars (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018), Pp. 288, ISBN: 9780520295100 (hb). [From the publisher’s notes: “In 1935, an Australian government agency imported 101 specimens of the Central and South American Cane Toad in an attempt to manage insects that were decimating sugar-cane harvests. . . . Cane Toad Wars chronicles the work of intrepid scientist Rick Shine, who has been documenting the toad’s ecological impact in Australia and seeking to buffer it. Despite predictions of devastation in the wake of advancing toad hordes, the author’s research reveals a more complex and nuanced story.”]

Dale Tomich (ed), Slavery and Historical Capitalism during the Nineteenth Century (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017), Pp. 216, ISBN: 9781498565837 (hb); 9781498565844 (eb). [From the publisher’s notes: “An international group of scholars critically engage older traditions of scholarship on Atlantic history, the economic history of slavery, and the history of slavery in Cuba, Brazil, and the United States from the perspective of the second slavery.”]


Amy Moran-Thomas, Traveling with Sugar: Chronicles of a Global Epidemic (Oakland: University of California Press, 2018), Pp. 320, ISBN: 9780520297548 (pb); 9780520297531 (hb). [From the publisher’s notes: “Traveling with Sugar reframes the rising diabetes epidemic as part of a five-hundred-year-old global history of sweetness and power.”]

And catching up:

Masayo Umezawa Duus, The Japanese Conspiracy: The Oahu Sugar Strike of 1920 Translated by Beth Carey; adapted by Peter Duus (Oakland: University of California Press, 1999), Pp. 386, ISBN 9780520204850 (pb).

Chapters in books

Derek Byerlee & P. K.Viswanathan, “Plantations and Economic Development in the Twentieth Century: The End of an Era?” In Agricultural Development in the World Periphery edited by Vicente Pinilla & Henry Willebald (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), Pp. 507, ISBN 9783319660196 (hb); 9783319660202 (eb). For more information see

Jennifer P. Mathews & John Gust, “Cosmopolitan living? Examining the sugar and rum industry of the Costa Escondida, Quintana Roo, Mexico.” In The Value of Things. Prehistoric to Contemporary Commodities in the Maya Region edited by Jennifer P. Mathews & Thomas H. Guderjan (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2017), Pp. 308, ISBN 9780816533527. [This chapter relates to sugar and rum production in late 19t-h and early 20th-century Yucatán.]

Journal articles

Ralph A. Austen, “Monsters of protocolonial economic enterprise: East India companies and slave plantations,” Critical Historical Studies 4:2 (2017), pp. 139-177. [From the introduction: “The main task of this article is to consider the degree to which the East India companies and slave plantations can be considered capitalist in any sense.” Sugar-producing slave plantations are a focal point.]

Alexander Claver & G. Roger Knight, “A European role in intra-Asian commercial development: The Maclaine Watson network and the Java sugar trade c.1840–1942,” Business History 60:2 (2017), pp. 202-230.

Aaron Graham, “Technology, slavery and the Falmouth Water Company of Jamaica, 1799–1805,” Slavery & Abolition 39:2 (2017), pp. 315-332. [From the abstract: “Slave societies such as Jamaica were among the earliest regions to adopt new technologies, suggesting that slavery was not synonymous with economic backwardness. This article uses the efforts of the Falmouth Water Company to adopt the new hydraulic ram between 1799 and 1805 to show that this process was also not restricted to the plantation sector and that the island possessed an unexpected capacity for technological adaption.”]

Mark William Hauser, “A political ecology of water and enslavement: Water ways in eighteenth-century Caribbean plantations,” Current Anthropology 58:2 (2017), pp. 227-256.

Tristan J.Schweiger, “Grainger’s West Indian planter: Property and authority in The Sugar-Cane,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 50:4 (2017), pp.401-416. [From the abstract: “This article examines the relationship between eighteenth-century ideologies of property rights and imperial authority in James Grainger’s The Sugar-Cane (1764) [by placing] Grainger into dialogue with Joshua Steele, a Barbadian planter and partial critic of existing Caribbean slavery.”]

Evelyn Hu-DeHart, “From slavery to freedom: Chinese coolies on the sugar plantations of nineteenth century Cuba,” Labour History 113 (2017), pp. 31-51. [In a special issue on ‘Labour History and the “Coolie Question”’ that also includes articles on sugar plantation workers in Hawai'i and Queensland.]

Nevin Turgut Gültekin, “Kültürel ve endüstriyel miras olarak Ankara-Şeker Fabrikas?,” İdealkent 7:20(2018), pp. 906-935. [From the abstract: “In this study, ‘Ankara Sugar-Şeker-Factory’ with its settlement composition, existing buildings, production mechanisms and with its traces in urban memory, is taken into consideration with its place in industry, technology and social development of sugar production industry also industrial architecture of the 1960s in Turkey which is on the way to be lost forever. Thus, it is aimed to be documented as industrial archaeology, to provide the distinction and sustainability of industrial heritage.”]

Jonna M. Yarrington, “Sucre indigène and sucre colonial: Reconsidering the splitting of the French national sugar market, 1800–1860,” Economic Anthropology 5:1 (2018), pp. 20-31.


Amy Murrell Taylor, “The historian who admired slavers” (Review of The Sweetness of Life: Southern Planters at Home by Eugene D. Genovese, edited by Douglas Ambrose), Times Literary Supplement (March 2018).


When Richard Jones’s Sweet Waste appeared in 2015 [see the full citation in WSHN 47], its publisher observed that “archaeologically, sugar is an invisible commodity.” Jones’s book was presented as an attempt “to redress the imbalance between history and archaeology by reporting on the excavation of a medieval sugar refinery, Tawahin es-Sukkar near Safi, situated south of the Dead Sea in Jordan. There it was possible to explore many of the steps in the sugar-making process. The book’s title refers to the industrial waste whose study has shed light on those steps.”

In a sphere of production so ancient in origin, so dispersed in time and space, and so enormously dependant on a work-force without voice or record, archaeological research is as essential as it is enriching of the historical understanding of sugar’s past. In the industrial era, archaeology – sometimes in fusion with other fields of inquiry, notably the environmental – adds another dimension to those of political-economic, socio-cultural, or any other historical research tradition. We’ve recently seen a surge in the publication of archaeological findings that variously complement and supplement what documentary, literary, and ethnographical sources reveal about the history of sugar production. A selection of studies published over the last two years represents some of this research effort.

Fernando Javier Astudillo, “Environmental and historical archaeology of the Galápagos islands: archaeobotany of Hacienda El Progreso, 1870–1920,” Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 27:5 (2018), pp. 1-15. [From the abstract: “Archaeological and modern botanical samples were collected from four archaeological sites within the former farmland of the 19th century Hacienda El Progreso, a sugar plantation located in the moist highlands of the island. The archaeobotanical remains show the use of native timber, the introduction of crops and weeds, some aspects of local diet, and evidence of vegetation clearance. Ecological impact is shown by the changes to the native vegetation caused by human colonization of the island and the expansion of agricultural land for the plantation enterprise.”]

Hayden Frith Bassett, The archaeology of enslavement in plantation Jamaica: A study of community dynamics among the enslaved people of Good Hope Estate, 1775-1838. William & Mary College, PhD in Anthropology, 2017. [From the abstract: “an archaeological investigation of three related sites in northern Jamaica. Each site represents domestic spaces of enslaved people tied to Good Hope estate, a 2000-acre sugar plantation that operated from the mid-18th through the early 19th century.”]

Niall Finneran, “'The Island of the Clouds': The archaeology of life on the margins in a small-scale Caribbean island landscape, Bequia (St. Vincent Grenadines) ca. 1700–1900 CE,” International Journal of Historical Archaeology (2017), pp. 1-26. [From the abstract: “This contribution moves the scale of analysis to the smaller Caribbean island landscape as a whole entity, and attempts to frame an archaeological biography of Bequia in the St. Vincent Grenadines over the last three hundred or so years. . . . Using landscape archaeology survey allied to GIS and historical cartographic analysis, the study presented here charts the emergence and development of a distinctive insular Caribbean socioeconomic identity very much on the margins.”]

John G. Franzen, Terrance J. Martin, & Eric C. Drake, “Sucreries and Ziizbaakdokaanan: Racialization, indigenous creolization, and the archaeology of maple-sugar camps in Northern Michigan,” Historical Archaeology 52:1 (2018), pp. 164–196. [From the abstract: “Comparison of the remains on four northern Michigan archaeological sites with ethnohistorical accounts of maple sugaring confirms the function of these sites, occupied between the late 18th and late 19th centuries . . . The sites’ archaeological characteristics contradict historical accounts that used racial terms, such as ‘Indian,’ ‘white,’ and ‘half-breed,’ to differentiate sugar makers and racialize both their practices and products. Instead, archaeological and historical evidence of sugaring can be explained by a process called ‘indigenous creolization.’”]

Diane Wallman & Sandrine Grouard, “Enslaved laborer and sharecropper fishing practices in 18th-19th century Martinique: A zooarchaeological and ethnozoohistorical study,” Journal of Ethnobiology 37:3 (2017), pp. 398-420. [From the abstract: “Archaeology provides insight into the pieces of history left out of the written record and offers valuable information regarding the everyday lives of the enslaved peoples and communities underrepresented in this record. This article presents the results of the zooarchaeological analysis of faunal remains recovered from enslaved laborer and sharecropper occupations at Habitation Crève Cœur, an eighteenth–nineteenth century sugar plantation on the island of Martinique.”]

Diane Wallman, E. Christian Wells, & Isabel C. Rivera-Collazo, “The environmental legacies of colonialism in the Northern Neotropics: Introduction to the Special Issue,” Environmental Archaeology: The Journal of Human Palaeoecology 23:1 (2018), pp. 1-3. [This special issue contains articles on sugar plantations, including that of Oas & Hauser (cited next). The editorial introduction explains that the region referred to as the “northern Neotropics (New World Tropic Ecozone) . . . consists of northern South America, Central America, the Mexican lowlands, the Caribbean islands, and southern Florida – all together containing one of the largest contiguous areas of tropical rainforest on the planet that houses a vast reserve of biodiversity and a wide array of indigenous peoples.”]

Sarah E. Oas & Mark W. Hauser, “The political ecology of plantations from the ground up,” Environmental Archaeology: The Journal of Human Palaeoecology 23:1 (2018), pp. 4-12. [From the abstract: “Little work has been done to examine the political ecology and environmental legacy of sugar colonies in the Caribbean. Material excavated from the Morne Patate plantation in southern Dominica occupied from the late seventeenth to mid-nineteenth century offers a perfect opportunity to examine the intersections between Caribbean colonial enterprises and the domestic economies of enslaved households.”]


With acknowledgement to OATD.ORG:

Hayden Frith Bassett (cited above).

Marie-Christine Touchelay, La Guadeloupe, une île entreprise, des années 1930 aux années 1960: les entrepreneurs, le territoire, l’État (Guadeloupe, an enterprise island, from the 1930s to the 1960s: Entrepreneurs, territory, the State). Sorbonne Paris Cité, Docteur es, Histoire, 2017. [“The objective of this study is to demonstrate the importance of sugar companies in Guadeloupe's history.”]

Ryan Dennis McGuinness, ‘They can now digest strong meats’: two decades of expansion, adaptation, innovation, and maturation on Barbados, 1680-1700. University of Edinburgh, PhD, 2017. [“…gaps in the historiography still exist, leaving several significant periods of the island’s history under-analyzed and misunderstood. One such lacuna exists for the twenty-year period between 1680 and 1700.”]


Roger Knight, "Indonesia’s colonial sugar industry," Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History (April 2018). [This article, the latest of Roger Knight’s works on Indonesian sugar, is freely available online, with a PDF option. It follows his two recent books that were reviewed in WSHN 48 and 49.]

This issue of the World Sugar History Newsletter has been compiled by David Lincoln and Peter Blanchard. Correspondence should be sent to David Lincoln, Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town, 7700, South Africa, or to Peter Blanchard, Department of History, University of Toronto, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S3G3 Past issues of the Newsletter can be found at