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Lecture/Presentation/Talk

Giulio Talini (Univ. of Naples Federico II, Gimon Collection Visiting Scholar, 2024): The slave as “capital”? The colonial Chambers of Agriculture and the Political Economy of Slavery in the French Caribbean (1759-1790)

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Giulio Talini (doctoral candidate Univ. of Naples Federico II, Gimon Collection Visiting Scholar, 2024) will present his pre-circulated article in progress: 

The slave as “capital”? The colonial Chambers of Agriculture and the Political Economy of Slavery in the French Caribbean (1759-1790) / L’esclave comme « capital »? Les Chambres d’agriculture coloniales et l’économie politique de l’esclavage aux Antilles françaises (1759-1790)

Thursday, February 15, 12-1:30, Tierney Room, 120A, Green Library

The aim of this paper is to investigate the reform projects of the Chambers of Agriculture of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Saint-Domingue in relation to Atlantic slave trade and the exploitation of slave labour inside the plantation. These expert bodies representing the grands blancs between 1759 and the beginning of the French Revolution in the metropole, managed to develop a well-structured discourse on the economic and political implications of slavery in view of implementing their fiscal, commercial, administrative, and institutional agenda. Designed to enhance the trafficking, the profitability, and the productivity of slaves, this economic and institutional knowledge proves key to understand, on the one hand, the branch of imperial political economy known as “government of slaves”, and, on the other, the intellectual roots of colonial anti-abolitionism. Ultimately, the memoires of the Chambers invite us to reflect in an original way on the interrelatedness of political economy and slavery in the French Caribbean within the framework of Atlantic commercial capitalism.

NB: the article is in French, presentation/discussion in English.

Please contact ssussman@stanford.edu for a copy of the article and to rsvp for lunch.

Sponsored by the Stanford Libraries Gustave Gimon Visiting Scholar Fellowship, the French-Speaking Worlds Workshop, and the Caribbean Studies Reading Group

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