Afro-Asian Histories, Ecologies, and Intimacies in the Nineteenth-Century Caribbean


ACLS Fellowship Program


Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora


This project narrates how people of Asian and African descent forged intertwined lives through specific ecological sites in the Caribbean, such as the market, the garden, and the coast. As a prehistory of Asian indenture, it links migration in the Indian Ocean and revolutionary developments in the Caribbean. As a sociopolitical history, it emphasizes overlapping struggles for self-determination after abolition. Just as technologies of control developed from African chattel slavery to Asian indenture, so too did community-building and mutual aid. In marking consistent imperial failures to manage the intimate, political, and ecological lives of laboring peoples, this project also foregrounds the fugitive routes, testimony, and water knowledges that united the many peoples gathered together in the nineteenth-century Caribbean.