zum Inhalt springen

Transcending the Tyranny of the Particular in Plantation Labor Studies

Richard B. Allen (Framingham State, Massachusetts)




Studies of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century colonial labor systems reflect the extent to which our knowledge of plantation systems is constrained by the “tyranny of the particular,” i.e., an unwillingness to situate local developments in more fully developed local, regional, pan-regional, and comparative contexts. Recent scholarship on slavery, abolition, convict, and indentured labor in the Indian Ocean highlights the need to deepen our understanding of the complexities of the colonial plantation experience by transcending this propensity to study these societies and economies in isolation from one another and explore the ways in which they were connected with one another across both time and space.

Richard B. Allen is an internationally known scholar who works on the social and economic history of Mauritius, slavery and indentured labor in the colonial plantation worlds, and slavery, slave trading, and abolition in the Indian Ocean and Asia. He is the author of Slaves, Freedmen, and Indentured Laborers in Colonial Mauritius (1999), European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500-1850 (2014), an edited volume on Slavery and Bonded Labor in Asia, 1250-1900 (2022), and more than 60 articles, essays, and chapters in academic journals, books, encyclopedias, and research bibliographies.


15 June 2022

Seminargebäude S12
Universität zu Köln 50931 Köln

Zoom Link for hybrid
Meeting-ID: 964 2217 0315
Password: 861606


Funding Declaration:

This event has been organized via a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 889078, entitled Migrating Knowledge: The Global Knowledge Networks of German Medic, Botanist and Migration Commissioner Wilhelm Hillebrand in Hawai'i (1821-1886), with Nicholas B. Miller as Research Fellow and Ulrike Lindner as Host.