Karen E. Fields F'08

Karen E. Fields
Visiting Scholar
African American and Diaspora Studies
Vanderbilt University

ACLS Fellowship Program 2008
Visiting Scholar
African American and Diaspora Studies
Vanderbilt University
Bordeaux's Africa: People and Things in the Slave Trade and After

“Bordeaux’s Africa” offers a new conceptualization of the African Diaspora. Instead of focusing on the the “triangle” of the triangular trade along its Africa-to-America base, this book takes as its vantage-point one European apex, Bordeaux. From that standpoint, slave-trading and slavery come into view as a vast movement of things along the triangle’s two legs: one outbound, the route of things to buy people with; and the other inbound, the route of things the bought people have produced. By reconstructing production and/or acquisition of outbound commodities for the slave trade—here, wine/brandy, gunpowder, and cotton cloth—it becomes possible to register, within Europe, the creation of the African Diaspora. The same applies to inbound commodities.