The transatlantic slave trade era – marked by chattel slavery, racial capitalism, and exploitative plantation economies – radically transformed societies and environments in the Americas. In this talk, Professor Dunnavant attempts to craft a historical ecology of the African Diaspora through an analysis of slavery in the Danish West Indies. Drawing from an array of archaeological, historical and environmental data, he argues that the development of plantation slavery elicited lasting ecological changes as colonial planters developed exploitative monocrop agricultural systems and enslaved Africans made a life in the Caribbean. Theoretically, he uses a Black Geographic lens to interrogate the relationship between African diasporic communities and their Atlantic environments. Finally, Professor Dunnavant posits the need to engage questions of sustainability as a form of redress in contemporary archaeological praxis. 

 

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