AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: TRADING PLACES: ECONOMIC NETWORKS IN A CARIBBEAN FRONTIER
Author: MARK HAUSER (Northwestern University)   
Date/Time: Fri., 8:45 AM
Co-Author(s): MARK HAUSER (Northwestern University) 
Abstract: In 1763 Britain assumed control of the Island of Dominica and as an empire was faced the task of administering an entrenched population of enslaved African laborers and French settlers exploiting informal trade with neighboring Martinique and Guadeloupe. Analysis of local and informal economic networks in the eighteenth century Caribbean organized by a host of colonial subjects and operating at a range of geographic scales provides insights into the logics of imperial ambitions, internal workings of colonial regimes, the vagaries of mercantile networks, and the shortcomings of the plantation economy. Tracking these networks, however, presents a particular difficulty since by definition these economies are poorly documented in historical or literary sources of the time-period. Beyond the labeling of such networks or describing their ubiquity, a focus on the material transactions and the circuitries they represent enable a conversation of the degree to which economic orders shaped local networks and intimate practices. In this paper archaeological materials recovered from eighteenth century colonial contexts in southern Dominica are used to discuss the importance of political boundaries established by colonial regimes and to describe the kinds of material transactions and social circuits they represent. As an informal and interstitial colony, Dominica was subject to a series of regulations and deregulations that marked it as distinct within the French and British imperial realms. Yet to what degree did these regulations matter in the indeterminacies of everyday life? Archaeological remains here are used to infer the effectiveness of such regulations in shaping the cartographies of economic practice.

Program Number: 3-0220
Session Title: HOT TRADE: FRONTIERS AND FRICTION IN PAST ECONOMIES
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 8:00 AM-11:45 AM
Organizer(s): KATHRYN FRANKLIN (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SHANNON DAWDY (University of Chicago)  
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