AFR 133
Plantation and the Plot: the Poetics of Caribbean Economic Thought and Struggle Spring 2023
Division II
Cross-listed ECON 133 / GBST 133 / COMP 133
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Class Details

This introductory course to Caribbean Economic Thought contextualizes the poetics of economic ideas, struggle and knowledge alongside popular literary works connected to contemporary challenges of Caribbean Economic Development. Using the ‘plantation’ and the ‘plot’ as sites of continuing exploitation and struggle, this course delves into Caribbean postcolonial development thinking. We will explore the present-day relevance of these sites to racial justice and environmental crises and their historical roots in colonial surplus extraction. By examining literary and economic writings of Caribbeanists and Caribbean connected contributors side by side, we seek to uncover these links to how the Caribbean economy, its seascape and society are framed, conceptualized and traversed as transplanted spaces, economic zones, and extractive geographies today. Unorthodox perspectives on economic and social thought that emerged to explain the region’s integral role in merchant and industrial capitalism, New World social formations and contemporary globalization will also be discussed. We will closely analyze critical texts of contributors to the New World Group that centers the Caribbean within global economic transformations. Some events this course covers are indigenous genocide, labor regimes, agrarian change, structural adjustment, economic and ecological crises, postcolonial debt, technology, current fragmentation of global neoliberalism. These events will help shape an appreciation for the material and socio-cultural understandings of economic phenomena starting from the plantation to the plot within cultural and literary works in pluralistic, productive, and powerful ways.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3014
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Oral or poster presentation analyzing a literary and Caribbean economist's work side-by-side (15 minutes or full-length/ multi-page poster); critical analysis of a Caribbean economic sector or major regional report--choice made after discussion with instructor (10 pages); final project: review of a specific Caribbean community defined by group, geography or economic status drawing upon class, race, gendered axes of analysis (15 pages); participation (creative presentation of a reading drawing upon Caribbean cultural traditions that raise questions for class discussion)
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Preference also for 1st and 2nd year students. If over-enrolled preference to AFR and Political Economy students.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ECON 133 Division II GBST 133 Division II AFR 133 Division II COMP 133 Division I
Attributes: AFR Core Electives

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