There is no such thing as ‘the plantation.’ Although a recent surge in scholarship purports to address that very category, the term belies its own claim to universality. ‘The plantation,’ rather, indexes a proliferation of forms of racialized extractive agricultural production that stretch across the globe from the sugarcane fields of the Canary Islands in the 1400s to contemporary oil palm estates in Indonesia. The recent emergence of the Plantationocene concept makes a similarly universalizing claim. The concept was first extended by Donna Haraway and her interlocutors (2015) as a more historically situated alternative to that of the Anthropocene, which names our epoch of human-induced climate crisis. The Plantationocene identifies past and present practices of extraction and racialized violence as the logics underpinning the operation of colonial monocrop plantations. However, without critical interrogation, concepts like the Plantationocene risk flattening our understanding of the myriad ways in which extractive capitalism and its toxic legacies have shaped human and nonhuman life since the fifteenth century. At the same time, positing plantation worlds as the main mode of organizing time, space, and knowledge under extractive capitalism foregrounds the foundational and sustained role that racialized formations of land, labor, and capital have played in colonial and imperial projects.

Our aim is to explore the potential of critical anthropological perspectives to confront the material and epistemological legacies of extractive racial capitalism. We route this exploration through plantation worlds, asking what their making and unmaking shows us about contemporary anthropological theory and practice. As numerous calls to ‘decolonize anthropology’ indicate, the discipline is itself intimately bound up with the making of plantation worlds. Anthropology has long been complicit in the formations of knowledge and power that sustain extractive racial capitalism. We turn to thinking from and against plantation worlds as a way into imagining their unmaking. As such, we bring anthropological theory and practice into juxtaposition with liberatory genealogies in Black and Indigenous studies. From this conjuncture, we examine whether, and how, anthropology would look different if it reckoned with its own history of entanglements with plantation worlds and their afterlives, as well as with the long history of efforts committed to their unmaking — or would it exist at all?

Broadly, our syllabus focuses on the processes that have made and unmade plantations past and present, as well as the political and theoretical legacies that remain rooted in plantation grounds. In creating a teaching tool that focuses a critical lens on plantation worlds and the intellectual traditions that emerge within and against them, we aim to move beyond the conventional thinking on extractive monocrop plantations that privileges the very analytics that are invested in their making. Specifically, we foreground liberatory genealogies within Black and Indigenous studies and emphasize their contribution to critical turns in environmental humanities and social sciences, which have often gone unrecognized. As such, our syllabus stands to make three key contributions to critical anthropological thinking: it (1) reckons with structures of dispossession and histories of forced relocation that remain foundational to liberal notions of otherness and practices of cultural critique; (2) historically locates and provincializes the liberal assertion of a universal, coherent and transparent human subject; and (3) emphasizes that the Black and Indigenous liberatory practices and epistemologies that have unmade plantation worlds are analytics in their own right. We thus provide a point of departure for expanding anthropology’s capacity to confront the material and epistemological legacies of extractive racial capitalism inherent in the discipline.

We navigate this critical conjuncture by thinking with—and against—the Plantationocene. We take the term as an entry point to open up a way of understanding the worlds that racial capitalism has built, as well as the transformations wrought in the radical unmaking of those worlds. In so doing, we also turn attention to the porosity of plantation thinking, that is the tendency of plantation logics to subsume everything with which they come in contact. Although plantation logics pervade the ways that we think about, talk about, and participate in racialized systems of power, it is equally important to be clear about the conceptual boundaries of those logics. Where do we draw the line when we are talking materially and conceptually about plantation worlds? Not everything is a plantation, although plantation power pervades the geographies of racial capitalism. In rejecting the universality of 'the plantation' as a category of analysis, we also insist on the particularity of plantation worlds. With this syllabus, we are exploring and testing where and how to draw the line around what thinking with plantation logics, insidious as they are, offers to understanding the operation and contestation of power under racial capitalism.

Long before the emergence of the Plantationocene concept, scholars of Black and Indigenous studies including Sylvia Wynter, Edouard Glissant, Cedric Robinson, Aimé Césaire, Tiffany Lethabo King, Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang, and Glen Coulthard traced a liberatory genealogy emergent at the edges of and against plantation worlds. As an analytic, the Plantationocene concept is impoverished by its distinction from these radical intellectual traditions. This syllabus recenters such liberatory genealogies by bringing together scholarship in Black and Indigenous Studies, Agrarian Studies, and Caribbean and Postcolonial Studies. We thus expand critiques of the Plantationocene concept emerging from or implicit within Black and Indigenous Studies, which insist upon the insurgences always present within plantation worlds as analytics that are world-making in their own right.

The multivalent intellectual project that we present here is itself embedded in plantation worlds even as it centers strategies for their unmaking. Therefore, we seek to reimagine the Plantationocene as a scene of adaptation and transformation of the social, ecological, economic, and epistemological relations particular to plantations across time and space. In this sense, thinking with the Plantationocene as a set of interactive forces makes space for the manifestations of other ways of life and living that emerge from radically different “interspecies-interecological schema” (McKittrick 2021, 43). We think across disciplines and intellectual traditions to interrogate how plantation worlds have been constantly made and unmade, and how these opposing processes have structured understandings of and ways of being in the world for humans and nonhumans. As such, this syllabus destabilizes imaginaries of the Plantationocene that anchor ‘the plantation’ in linear time and space. Instead, we challenge the analytic to account for the dynamic and contextually contingent processes of making and unmaking of plantation worlds past and present.

Our point of departure is the proposition that world-making is a central function of plantations. We examine the mutual constitution of plantation worlds and extractive capitalism through three broad processes: making, unmaking, and regeneration. We focus on making, unmaking, and regeneration as processes and movements that are both material and ideological, rooted in long-standing embodied critiques of colonialism, capitalism, and empire. We think through these processes in order to provincialize the Eurocentric epistemic units, such as labor, land, race or resistance, that conventionally signpost plantation studies. These liberal humanist categories often prove inadequate to understanding plantation lifeworlds, taking ‘the plantation’ for granted. ‘Labor,’ for example, fails to capture the configurations of life and practice that sustain human and nonhuman relations under racialized extractive capitalism. Our choice of process over category as organizing principle signals an inherent tension within the Plantationocene, a constant struggle to unmake plantations as concrete places and experiences of racialized extractive capitalism. By juxtaposing efforts at consolidating and undoing plantation lifeworlds and their afterlives, we aim to foreground key continuities and discontinuities that are otherwise obscured by the linear temporality embedded in the Plantationocene. We focus on persistent efforts aimed at unmaking plantation worlds and the proliferation of regenerative world-making practices in order to center inter-species modes of relation that defy and undermine the universal imaginary of the plantation.

Syllabus Organization

We created this syllabus as an open-ended resource for both academic and non-academic audiences. Each of the three main sections signals an approach to understanding plantation worlds, and may be taken up in sequence or as stand-alone units. The sources listed under each subsection are featured based on the relevance they bear to the respective theme. The 13 subsections roughly correspond to each week of an academic semester, giving instructors the opportunity to customize the syllabus by using any remaining weeks to explore certain themes in greater depth, or to connect selections on the multimedia to previous discussions held in the classroom. Alternatively, we envision this syllabus as a guide for critical reflections on the enduring legacies of past and present plantation worlds, through an anthropological lens that trangresses academic boundaries. The subsections in our syllabus can, for example, inform critical conversations on pedagogies, epistemologies, praxes, and methodologies in creative and organizing spaces, as well as in institutional settings like governmental and non-governmental organizations.

In the first section of our syllabus, making, we juxtapose empirical studies of plantation worlds and critical perspectives on cultural anthropology to show how the core categories and constitutive practices of the discipline are embedded in plantation worlds. We highlight critical accounts of the role that capitalism, colonialism, and empire have played in the making of anthropology as a mode of inquiry and a set of key practices that reinforce liberal humanist conventions. As Savannah Shange (2019, 9) points out, “fieldwork is never completely out of sight of another set of fields—cotton, cane, tobacco, rice.” We thus contend that cultural anthropology’s underlying assumptions of transparent others whose cultures can and should be rendered legible are intimately bound with regimes of imperial visuality, which are in turn born out of overseeing practices on colonial plantations.

In the second section, unmaking, we highlight long-standing critiques of liberal humanist modes of inquiry coming from Black and Indigenous studies. We place these side by side with recent scholarship in anthropology that provincializes normative concepts and methodologies in the discipline. In so doing, we instead operationalize analytics that emerged organically from modes of living in response, around and from within racialized extractive capitalism. Concepts such as ‘flesh,’ ‘fungibility,’ and ‘fugitivity’ reveal not only the limitations and openings inherent in racialized extractive capitalism. They also signal the limitations of anthropological theory and practice in accurately accounting for human thought and practice that exists beyond and transforms the plantation worlds that gave birth to the discipline.

In our final section, regeneration, we build on our expansive engagement with the Plantationocene analytic to think critically about the future of the discipline. That is, we conclude, paradoxically, by opening up, tracing out the conceptual terrain that thinking with and against plantation worlds offers. This final section foregrounds longstanding scholarly efforts that aim to reform or dismantle the discipline. As such, we propose regeneration as a horizon that can help us think about contemporary calls for “letting anthropology burn” (Jobson 2020), or support recreating the field anew as a platform for radical humanism (as in, for example, the Radical Humanism Initiative).

The Multimedia Addendum at the end of this syllabus includes works of visual art, film, and music that we see as especially apt complements to the collected textual resources, and that we think are useful for initiating classroom discussion or as inspiration for class projects. In line with the unmaking and remaking endeavors in our syllabus, we aim to encourage instructors to add multi-modal sources to their teaching, enriching and expanding on the scope of pedagogy from primarily textual resources. This selection is by no means comprehensive and is intended to serve as a point of departure for students' and instructors' exploration of the many ways in which artists represent plantation worlds and seek to imagine futures otherwise.


Our syllabus, and its rationale, emerged organically from the numerous discussions, seminars, workshops, and reading group sessions made possible through the John E. Sawyer Seminar “Interrogating the Plantationocene,” hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2019-2020. We thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose financial support facilitated the fruitful interdisciplinary encounters and intellectual cross-pollinations between faculty, graduate students, and the wider public at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond. We are especially grateful to the organizers of the Seminar, who, in addition to Sophie Sapp Moore, included Monique Allewaert, Pablo Gómez, and Gregg Mitman. The organizers’ long-standing contributions to thinking around extractive capitalism and plantation worlds is the foundation of this ongoing project, which has in turn driven the exploration of new directions in each of our work. The organizers’ unwavering energy and enthusiasm for unconventional thinking and intellectual challenge laid the foundation for our exploration, while their steadfast support, generosity, and encouragement has made our research possible. We would also like to extend our warm appreciation to all the guests, speakers, and participants whose scholarly dialogue around the operation and afterlives of past and present plantation lifeworlds animated and sustained our relentless stretching of the Plantationocene’s boundaries.

The work made possible by the seminar continues to exceed its bounds. We are especially thankful for the sustained interest of our reading group fellows, whose regular discussions helped crystallize and polish many of our ideas. A special thank you to “Interrogating the Plantationocene” graduate fellow Christian Keeve, a rigorous scholar and inspiring colleague, whose generous intellectual investment in the reading group “Interrogating the -cene[s]” (active since 2019) contributed significantly to this syllabus. We would also like to express our appreciation for the editorial board of Edge Effects, who have supported and helped sharpen the first iteration of this syllabus, published as “A Syllabus for Plantation Worlds” on 27 May 2021.

Finally, we extend our gratitude to Fieldsights editors Erin Gould and Sydney Pullen. We have been inspired by their enthusiastic response to our initial proposal, and their insightful comments have helped us bring the framing essay into its current form. Their support has been invaluable in our development of a set of resources that, we hope, speak not only to anthropologists, but also to the broader value of the discipline as a critical tool for the analysis of extractive racial capitalism.

All shortcomings of this syllabus are our own, and we recognize the inherent limits of the form as well as the gaps in our own knowledge and experience that necessarily make it a perpetual work-in-progress. We welcome the opportunity to engage in ongoing dialogue on the limits and possibilities of our thinking around plantation worlds. We look forward to hearing from you at [email protected] and/or [email protected].

Download a PDF of Sophie Sapp Moore and Aida Arosoaie’s syllabus or continue reading this post to view the syllabus.


1. Making

A. Planting


Wynter, Sylvia. 1971. “Novel and History, Plot and Plantation.” Savacou 5: 95–102.

Palmié, Stephan. 2011. “Toward Sugar and Slavery.” In The Caribbean: A History of the Region and Its People, edited by Stephan Palmié and Francisco Scarano, 131–48. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Moore, Sophie Sapp, Monique Allewaert, Pablo Gómez, Gregg Mitman. 2019. “Interrogating the Plantationocene,” Edge Effects, January 22.

Haraway, Donna. 2016. “Making Kin: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene.” In Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, 99–103. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Wolford, Wendy. 2021. “The Plantationocene: A Lusotropical Contribution to the Theory.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers: 1–18.

Davis, Janae, Alex A. Moulton, Levi Van Sant, and Brian Williams. 2019. “Anthropocene, Capitalocene,… Plantationocene?: A Manifesto for Ecological Justice in an Age of Global Crises.” Geography Compass 13, no. 5.


McKittrick, Katherine. 2013. “Plantation Futures.” Small Axe 17, no. 3 (42): 1–15.

Woods, Clyde Adrian. 2017. “What Happens to a Dream Arrested?” In Development Arrested: The Blues and Plantation Power in the Mississippi Delta, 1–24. London: Verso.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. 2005 [1995]. “The Power in the Story.” In Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, 1–30. Boston: Beacon Press.

Hartman, Saidiya V. 2002. “The Time of Slavery.” South Atlantic Quarterly 101, no. 4: 757–77.

Mbembe, Achille. 2019. “This Stifling Noonday.” Necropolitics. 156–183. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Moran-Thomas, Amy. 2019. “Past is Prologue.” In Traveling with Sugar: Chronicles of a Global Epidemic, 27–53. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Washington, Booker T. 1899. The Future of the American Negro. Boston: Small, Maynard & Company.

McInnis, Jarvis C. 2016. “‘Behold the Land’: WEB Du Bois, Cotton Futures, and the Afterlife of the Plantation in the US South.” Global South 10, no. 2: 70–98.

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. 2007. “Crimes, Cropland, and Capitalism.” In Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. 128–180. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Agard-Jones, Vanessa. 2013. “Bodies in the System.” Small Axe 17, no. 3 (42): 182–92.

Goffe, Tao Leigh. 2019. “Sugarwork: The Gastropoetics of Afro-Asia After the Plantation.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas 5, no. 1–2: 31–56.

B. Relocation

Glissant, Édouard. 1995. “Distancing, Determining.” In Poetics of Relation, translated by Betsy Wing, 141–157. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press..

Casid, Jill H. 2004. “Transplanting the Metropole.” In Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization, 45–94. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

Li, Tania Murray. 2016. “Situating Transmigration in Indonesia’s Oil Palm Labour Regime.” In The Oil Palm Complex: Smallholders, Agribusiness and the State in Indonesia and Malaysia, edited by Rob Cramb and John F. McCarthy, 354–377. Singapore: NUS Press.

Aso, Michitake. 2018. “Civilizing Latex.” In Rubber and the Making of Vietnam: An Ecological History 1897-1975, 23–56. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Lees, Lynn Hollen. 2017. “Rubber Reconstructs Malaya.” In Planting Empire, Cultivating Subjects: British Malaya, 1786–1941, 171–217. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Miles, Tiya. 2019. “Beyond a Boundary: Black Lives and the Settler-Native Divide.” The William and Mary Quarterly 76, no. 3: 417–26.

Mitman, Gregg. 2021. “Plantation Lives.” In Empire of Rubber: Firestone’s Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia, 174–208. New York: The New Press.

Zimmerman, Andrew. 2012. “Cotton, the ‘Negro Question,’ and Industrial Education in the New South.” In Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South, 20–65. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Carney, Judith Ann, and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff. 2011. “The Africanization of Plantation Food Systems.” In In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World, 100–122. Berkeley: University of California Press.

C. Dispossession

Singh, Nikhil Pal. 2017. “On Race, Violence, and so-Called Primitive Accumulation.” In Futures of Black Radicalism, edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin, 39–58. New York: Verso.

Diaz, Natalie. 2012. “Abecederian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation.” In When My Brother Was an Aztec. Port Townsend, Wash.: Copper Canyon Press.

Goldstein. Alyosha. 2018. “The Ground Not Given: Colonial Dispositions of Land, Race, and Hunger.” Social Text 36, no. 2: 83–106.

Ives, Sarah. 2017. “Cultivating Indigeneity.” In Steeped in Heritage: The Racial Politics of South African Rooibos Tea, 29–64. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Braverman, Irus. 2009. “Uprooting Identities: The Regulation of Olive Trees in Occupied West Bank.” PoLAR 32, no. 2: 237–264.

Ventura, Theresa. 2016. “From Small Farms to Progressive Plantations: The Trajectory of Land Reform in the American Colonial Philippines, 1900-1916.” Agricultural History 90, no. 4: 459–483.

D. Extraction

Du Bois, W.E.B. 1998. “The Planter.” In Black Reconstruction in America: 1860-1880, 32–54. New York: The Free Press.

Yusoff, Kathryn. 2018. “Golden Spikes and Dubious Origins.” In A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, 23–64. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

Fernando, Mayanthi L. 2014. “Ethnography and the Politics of Silence.Cultural Dynamics 26, no. 2: 235–244.

Nordling, Linda. 2020. “Who Gets to Study Whom?Sapiens, 17 July.

Hallé, Clémence. 2020. “Fieldwork Matters: Following Field Station 5 from Natchez to Jackson, Mississippi.” Anthropocene Curriculum. June 18.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. 2011. “Introduction. The Right to Look, or, How to Think With and Against Visuality.” In The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality, 1–34. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. 2005. “Frontiers of Capitalism.” In Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection, 27–50. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Hull, Terence H. 2017. “From Concubines to Prostitutes. A Partial History of Trade in Sexual Services in Indonesia.” Social Science Research on Southeast Asia 29: 65–93.

Besky, Sarah. 2014. The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India, pp. 1–37, 59–87. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Woods, Clyde. 2017. “The Disaster Before the Disaster: Oil Regimes, Plantation Economics, and the Southern Strategy, 1977–2005.” In Development Drowned and Reborn: The Blues and Bourbon Restorations in Post-Katrina New Orleans, 216–254. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

Arabindan-Kesson, Anna. 2021. Black Bodies, White Gold: Art, Cotton and Commerce in the Atlantic World, pp. 1–28. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

E. Transformation

Girish Daswani. 2021. “The (Im)Possibility of Decolonizing Anthropology.” Everyday Orientalism. 18 November.

Robinson, Cedric J. 2000 [1983]. “The Historical Archaeology of the Black Radical Tradition.” In Black Marxism. 121–166. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Palmié, Stefan. 2013. “Fernando Ortiz and the Cooking of History.” In The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion, 78–112. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. 2002 “Culture on the Edges: Creolization in the Plantation Context.” In From the Margins: Historical Anthropology and Its Futures, edited by in Brian Keith Axel, 189–210. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Mintz, Sidney W. 1985. “Power.” In Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, 151–186. New York: Penguin Books.

Chao, Sophie. 2018. “In the Shadow of the Palm: Dispersed Ontologies among Marind, West Papua.” Cultural Anthropology 33, no. 4: 621–649.

Taussig, Michael. 2018. “LXVII, LXVIII, LXIX, LXX.” In Palma Africana, pp. 173–190. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Kumpf, Desirée. 2020. “Organic Taste and Labour on Indian Tea Plantations.” Social Anthropology 28, no. 4: 789–802.


A. Disruption

Lipsitz, George. 2017. “What Is This Black in the Black Radical Tradition?” In Futures of Black Radicalism, edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin. 108–19. New York: Verso.

McKittrick, Katherine. 2006. “I Lost an Arm on My Last Trip Home: Black Geographies.” In Demonic Grounds: Black Women and The Cartographies of Struggle, 1–36. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

Glissant, Édouard. 1995. Poetics of Relation, 111–120, 189–194. Translated by Betsy Wing. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Kullberg, Christina. 2013. “Crossroads Poetics: Glissant and Ethnography.” Callaloo 36, no. 4: 968–81.

Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. 2018. "Introduction." In M Archive: After the End of the World. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Lorde, Audre. 1984. “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House.” In Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Berkeley, Calif.: Crossing Press.

Casimir, Jean. 2020. “On the Origins of the Counter-Plantation System.” In The Haiti Reader: History, Culture, Politics, 61–66. Edited by Laurent Dubois, Kaiama L. Glover, Nadève Ménard, Millery Polyné, and Chantalle F. Verna. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Cabral, Amilcar. 2016. “Economic Resistance.” In Resistance and Decolonization, 91–113. Translated by Dan Wood. London: Rowman & Littlefield.

White, Monica M. 2018, “Land, Food, and Freedom.” In Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, 2–63. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

B. Insurgence

Yusoff, Kathryn. 2018. “Insurgent Geology: A Billion Black Anthropocenes Now.” In A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, 87–102. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

Anderson, Mark. 2019. “Introduction.” In From Boas to Black Power: Racism, Liberalism, and American Anthropology, 8–27. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.

Shange, Savannah . 2019. “Black Girl Ordinary: Flesh, Carcerality, and the Refusal of Ethnography.” Transforming Anthropology 27, no. 1: 3–21.

Reese, Ashanté M. 2019. “Introduction: Black Food, Black Space, Black Agency.” in Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C., 1–18. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Casid, Jill. 2018. “Necrolandscaping: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Necrocene.” In Natura: Environmental Aesthetics after Landscape, 237–264. Edited by Jens Andermann, Lisa Blackmore, and Dayron Carrillo Morell. Zurich: Diaphanes.

Beilin, Katarzyna Olga, and Sainath Suryanarayanan. 2017. “The War between Amaranth and Soy: Interspecies Resistance to Transgenic Soy Agriculture in Argentina.” Environmental Humanities 9, no. 2: 204–229.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. 1995. “An Unthinkable History.” In Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. 70–107. Boston: Beacon Press.

Stoler, Ann Laura. 1995. “Plantation Workers in Protest: The Politics of Violence.” In Capitalism and Confrontation in Sumatra’s Plantation Belt, 1870–1979, 47–92. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

C. Fugitivity

Keeve, Christian Brooks. 2020. “Fugitive Seeds.” Edge Effects. February 25.

Berry, Maya J., Claudia Chávez Argüelles, Shanya Cordis, Sarah Ihmoud, and Elizabeth Velásquez Estrada. 2017. “Toward a Fugitive Anthropology: Gender, Race, and Violence in the Field.Cultural Anthropology 32, no. 4: 537–65.

Davis, Thulani. 2015. “Recovering Fugitive Freedoms.” Social Text 33, no. 4 (125): 61–7.

Scott, Julius S. 2018. “Pandora’s Box: The Masterless Caribbean at the End of the Eighteenth Century.” In The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution, 1–37. Foreword by Marcus Rediker. London: Verso.

Freeburg, Christopher. Counterlife: Slavery After Resistance and Social Death, 1–14. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Rusert, Britt. 2017. “Experiments in Freedom: Fugitive Science in Transatlantic Performance.” In Fugitive Science: Empiricism in Early African American Culture, 113–48. New York: New York University Press.

Harney, Stefano, and Fred Moten. 2013. “Politics Surrounded” and “Blackness & Governance.” In The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, 14–22, 44–58. New York: Minor Compositions.

Shange, Savannah. 2019. “The Kids in the Hall: Space and Governance in Frisco’s Plantation Futures.” in Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco, 66–91. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

D. Reformation

Wynter, Sylvia. 2003. “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation - An Argument.” CR: The New Centennial Review 3, no. 3: 257–337.

Judy, R.A. 2020. “Introduction: Body and Flesh.” In Sentient Flesh: Thinking in Disorder, Poiesis in Black, 1–21. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Spillers, Hortense J. 1987. “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” Diacritics 17, no. 2: 65–81.

King, Tiffany Lethabo. 2019. “At the Pores of the Plantation.” In The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies, 111–141. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Wynter, Sylvia, and Katherine McKittrick. 2015. “Unparalleled Catastrophe of Our Species?: Or, to Give Humanness a Different Future: Conversations.” In Sylvia Wynter: Being Human as Praxis, 9–89. Edited by Katherine McKitrrick. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Mignolo, Walter D. 2015. “Sylvia Wynter: What Does It Mean to Be Human?” In Sylvia Wynter: Being Human as Praxis, 106–123. Edited by Katherine McKitrrick. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Weheliye, Alexander G. 2014. “Blackness: The Human.” In Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human, 17–32. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Mbembe, Achille. 2017. “The Clinic of the Subject.” In Critique of Black Reason, 131–178. Translated and with an Introduction by Laurent Dubois. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Jackson, Zakiyyah Iman. 2020. “Organs of War: Measurement and Ecologies of Dematerialization in the Works of Wangechi Mutu and Audre Lorde.” In Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World, 159–198. New York: New York University Press.

Woods, Clyde Adrian. 2005. “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?: Katrina, Trap Economics, and the Rebirth of the Blues.” American Quarterly 57, no. 4: 1005–18.

Thomas, Deborah A. 2016. “Time and the Otherwise: Plantation, Garrisons and Being Human in the Caribbean.” Anthropological Theory 16, no. 2-3: 177–200.


A. Reckoning

Kelley, Robin D. G. 2002. “ “A Day of Reckoning”: Dreams of Reparations.” In Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, 110–34. Boston: Beacon Press.

King, Tiffany Lethabo. 2019. “Errant Grammars: Defacing the Ceremony.” In The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies, 36–73. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Ebron, Paulla A. 2014. “Slavery and Transnational Memory: The Making of New Publics.” In Transnational Memory: Circulation, Articulation, Scales, 147–168. Edited by Chiara De Cesari and Ann Rigney. Boston: Walter de DeGruyter.

Smith, David. 2018. “The Fall: What the Hit South African Play Can Teach Us about the US.” The Guardian, November 1.

Segal, Theodore D. 2021. “A Plantation System: Desegregation.” In Point of Reckoning: The Fight for Racial Justice at Duke University, 5–31. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Lee, Robert, and Tristan Ahtone. 2020. “Land-Grab Universities: Expropriated Indigenous Land Is the Foundation of the Land-Grant University System.” High Country News. March 30.

hooks, bell. 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.

Jobson, Ryan Cecil. 2019. “The Case for Letting Anthropology Burn: Sociocultural Anthropology in 2019.” American Anthropologist 122, no. 2: 259–71.

Banerjee, Dwaipayan. 2020. “Anthropology’s Reckoning with Radical Humanism.” Anthropology Now 12, no. 3: 50–5.

Todd, Zoe. 2018. “The Decolonial Turn 2.0: The Reckoning.” Anthrodendum, June 15.

Beliso-De Jesús, Aisha M., and Jemima Pierre. 2019. “Introduction, Special Edition: Anthropology of White Supremacy.American Anthropologist 122, no. 1: 6575.

Pierre, Jemima. 2020. “Slavery, Anthropological Knowledge, and the Racialization of Africans.” Current Anthropology 61, no. S22: S220–S231.

Drake, St Clair. 1980. “Anthropology and the Black Experience.” The Black Scholar 11, no. 7: 2–31.

B. Reparation

Restrepo, Eduardo and Arturo Escobar. 2005. “‘Other Anthropologies and Anthropologies Otherwise’: Steps to a World Anthropologies Framework.” Critique of Anthropology 25, no. 2: 99–129.

Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt, Andrew S. Mathews, and Nils Bubandt. 2019. “Patchy Anthropocene: Landscape Structure, Multispecies History, and the Retooling of Anthropology: An Introduction to Supplement 20.” Current Anthropology 60, no. S20: S186–S197.

Hartman, Saidiya. 2019. “A Note on Method.” In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals, xiii–xv. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Campt, Tina M. 2021. A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See. Boston: MIT Press.

Sharpe, Christina. 2016. “The Weather.” In In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, 102–134. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Byrd, Jodi A. 2019. “To Hear the Call and Respond: Grounded Relationalities and the Spaces of Emergence.” American Quarterly 71, no. 2: 337–42.

Simpson, Audra. 2014. “Ethnographic Refusal: Anthropological Need.” In Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life across the Borders of Settler States, 95114. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

de la Cadena, Marisol. 2021. “Not Knowing: In the Presence of…” In Experiments with Ethnography: A Companion to Analysis, 246–256. Edited by Andrea Ballerstero and Brit Ross Winthereik. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Loperena, Christopher Anthony. 2016. “A Divided Community: The Ethics and Politics of Activist Research.” Current Anthropology 57, no. 3: 332–46.

Mignolo, Walter, and Rolando Vasquez. 2013. “Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings.” Social Text Online.

Jackson, Jr., John L. 2013. Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, 11–20. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Tsing, Anna L., Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena, and Feifei Zhou. 2020. “Feral Atlas as a Verb: Beyond Hope and Terror.” Reading Room in Feral Atlas, Digital Project sponsored by Stanford University Press.

Goldstein, Ruth. 2019. “Ethnobotanies of Refusal: Methdologies in Respecting Plant(ed)-human Resistance.RAI: Anthropology Today 35, no. 2: 1822.

Azoulay, Ariella. 2020. “Repair, Reparations, Return: The Conditions of Worldliness.” In Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism, 538–81. New York: Verso.

C. Abolition

Weheliye, Alexander G. 2014. “Freedom: Soon.” In Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human, 125–138. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

McKittrick, Katherine. 2021. “Consciousness (Feeling Like, Feeling Like This)” and “Something that Exceeds All Efforts to Definitely Pin it Down,” 58–74. In Dear Science and Other Stories. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. 2020. “Geographies of Racial Capitalism with Ruth Wilson Gilmore” (video). Antipode Online.

Davis, Angela Y. 2010. “Slavery, Civil Rights, and Abolitionist Perspectives Toward Prison.” In Are Prisons Obsolete? 22–39. New York: Seven Stories Press.

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. 2017. “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence.” In Futures of Black Radicalism, 57–77. Edited by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin. New York: Verso.

Shange, Savannah. 2019. “#OurLivesMatter: Mapping an Abolitionist Anthropology.” In Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco, 1–21. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

de Sousa Santos, Boaventura. 2018. The End of the Cognitive Empire: The Coming of Age of Epistemologies of the South. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Mullings, Leith, Jada Benn Torres, Agustín Fuentes, Clarence C. Gravlee, Dorothy Roberts, and Zaneta Thayer. 2021. “The Biology of Racism.” American Anthropologist 123, no. 3: 671–80.

Mullings, Leith. 2005. “Interrogating Racism: Toward an Antiracist Anthropology.” Annual Review of Anthropology 34: 667–693.

Kaur, Raminder, and Victoria Louisa Klinkert. 2021. “Decolonizing Ethnographies.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 11, no. 1: 246–55.

Pulido, Laura, and Juan De Lara. 2018. “Reimagining ‘Justice’ in Environmental Justice: Radical Ecologies, Decolonial Thought, and the Black Radical Tradition.” Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space 1, no. 1–2: 76–98.

Multimedia Addendum

Visual Art

Rosana Paulino - Búfalas & Jatobas (2019, Mendes Wood DM)

Rosana Paulino - Red Atlantic (2017, Pinacoteca)

Jose Alves de Olinda (website in Portuguese)

Sidney Amaral

Toyin Ojih Odutola - Defying the Shadow (2020–2021, RISD Museum)

Simryn Gill and Michael Taussig - Becoming Palm (2015, Center for the Contemporary Art Singapore)

John E. Dowell Jr - Cotton (2018, African American Museum Philadelphia)

M Lamar – Negrogothic, a Manifesto: The Aesthetics of M. Lamar (2014, Participant INC) and

Ernest Zacharevic and Charlotte Pyatt - Splash & Burn (Virtual)

Kara Walker - A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby (2014, Domino Sugar Factory)read a review of the piece in the New York Times:

Kevin Beasley - A View of a Landscape (2019, Whitney Museum)

Kaneem Smith - Plantation Storyline: Gatherer (2013, Artadia)


Rue Cases Nègres (Dir. Euzhan Palcy, 1983)

The Land Beneath Our Feet (Dir. Gregg Mitman and Sarita Siegel, 2016)

The Big Banana (Dir. Franck Bieleu, 2014) or

Indochine (Dir. Régis Wargnier, 1992)

Daughters of the Dust (Dir. Julie Dash, 1991)

La tierra y la sombra (Dir. César Augusto Acevedo, 2015)


Meshell Ndegeocello - Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Meshell Ndegeocello - Plantation Lullabies

Katherine McKittrick - Dear Science and Other Stories

Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid


Haraway, Donna, Noboru Ishikawa, Scott F. Gilbert, Kenneth Olwig, Anna L. Tsing, and Nils Bubandt. 2015. “Anthropologists are Talking—About the Anthropocene.” Ethnos 81, no. 3: 535–64.

Jobson, Ryan Cecil. 2020. “The Case for Letting Anthropology Burn: Sociocultural Anthropology in 2019.” American Anthropologist 122, no. 2: 259–271.

McKittrick, Katherine. 2021. Dear Science and Other Stories. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

Shange, Savannah. 2019. Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.