University of Edinburgh
This research will document and analyse sugar plantation guides from 1750 – 1910, a period which witnessed the apex and decline of the British Caribbean plantation complex, and the institution’s global spread. These guides, which aimed to convey the management techniques necessary for a sugar plantation’s productivity and profit, provide a unique entry point to the plantation complex’s transnational history of labour exploitation and agricultural science. My dissertation will use more than sixty extant plantation guides to explore how plantation agriculture survived and thrived long after the colonial slavery’s abolition. The dissertation will focus on the British world, beginning in the pre-emancipation Caribbean, and following the plantation’s transnational journey to Java, Bengal, Australia and beyond.