23 April: GLASS lecture - Mrinalini Sinha: "The Abolition of Indenture and the Time-Space of Global History"

Mrinalini Sinha (Professor of History, University of Michigan) will deliver the Spring 2013 GLASS lecture: "The Abolition of Indenture and the Time-Space of Global History."

GLASS Lecture
23 April, 2013
Academy Building, Small Auditorium
Rapenburg 67-73

The Abolition of Indenture and the Time-Space of Global History
This talk offers a series of reflections on the challenges and limits of contemporary frame-works of global history through a detailed study of the movement for the abolition of indenture. The abolition of the indentured labor system, which had been put in place in the aftermath of Atlantic slavery to substitute emancipated African slaves with indentured Indians on colonial plantations overseas, provides a challenge for existing global historical frameworks that tend to privilege space over time. This talk makes the case for a return to the “temporal,” through an exploration of the concept of an “interregnum,” to understand the much-neglected movement for the abolition of indenture or what following the abolition of Atlantic slavery has been called the “second abolition.”

Supplementary materials: BBC Documentary: Coolies: How Britain Reinvented Slavery (link)

Description: The slave trade was officially abolished throughout the British Empire in 1807. This documentary reveals one of Britain's darkest secrets: a form of slavery that continued well into the 20th century - the story of Indian indentured labour. "Coolies: How Britain Reinvented Slavery" tells the astonishing and controversial story of the systematic recruitment and migration of over a million Indians to all corners of the Empire. It is a chapter in colonial history that implicates figures at the very highest level of the British establishment and has defined the demographic shape of the modern world. Combining archive footage and historical evidence the programme includes interviews with Gandhi's great-grandaughter, Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, about Gandhi's campaign to end indentured labour and David Dabydeen - author and academic - whose great-grandfather was an indentured labourer in British Guyana

Last Modified: 08-04-2013