Trevor Burnard, directeur d’études invité à l’EHESS en novembre-décembre 2015

Cecile Vidal a le plaisir de vous annoncer que *Trevor Burnard, professeur d’histoire et directeur de l’Ecole des études historiques et  philosophiques à l’Université de Melbourne, viendra comme directeur  d’études invité à l’EHESS en novembre-décembre 2015*. Trevor Burnard est l’un des meilleurs spécialistes des sociétés esclavagistes dans le monde atlantique britannique du XVIIe au XIXe siècle. Il aussi bien travaillé sur l’Amérique du Nord que sur la Caraïbe, sur les plantations que sur  les villes, ainsi que sur les maîtres et le personnel d’encadrement d’origine européenne que sur les esclaves. Il s’intéresse, en particulier, à la démographie des sociétés esclavagistes, à la manière
dont les rapports de genre étaient transformés par les systèmes esclavagistes, à l’idéologie des planteurs et aux processus d’identification ethnique et raciale ou encore aux relations entre impérialisme et esclavagisme. Auteur de très nombreux ouvrages dont /Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire : Thomas Thistlewood and his Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World/ (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), il vient de faire paraître /Planters, Merchants, and Slaves : Plantation
Societies in British America, 1650-1820/ (University of Chicago Press, 2015), tandis que sortira dans quelques mois un ouvrage comparatif,
co-écrit avec John Garrigus : /The Plantation Machine : Atlantic Capitalism in French Saint-Domingue and British Jamaica /(University of  Pennsylvania Press, 2016).Trevor Burnard donnera cinq conférences :

*- Mardi 17 novembre 2015, 16h-18h, salle 12, CENA, EHESS, 105 bd
Raspail, 75006 PARIS : “The Making of Plantation Societies in the
Greater Antilles in the Eighteenth-Century” (dans mon séminaire sur
l’histoire comparée des traites, esclavages et abolitions dans les
mondes atlantiques)*
“The success of Barbados (and to an extent Martinique) in becoming a
plantation society in which the large integrated plantation, with a
small number of white managerial staff and a large number of enslaved
workers of African descent was the principal labour model for plantation
agriculture should have encouraged other places, like Jamaica and Saint
Domingue, to transform themselves into similar kinds of plantation
societies. Yet most British and French American slave societies took
quite a long time before they became plantation societies similar to
Barbados. Key to transforming these societies into the kinds of
plantation societies that were so successful, at least in economic
terms, in the eighteenth century, was convincing ordinary white men that
working in the plantation economy and managing often violent and
recalcitrant African-born slaves was something that could lead to wealth
and prosperity. The principal argument in this seminar is that before we
look at the ways that a shared racial understanding united whites in
plantation societies, we need to understand the economic connections
that made all white people support the continued growth of plantation

*- Mardi 24 novembre 2015, 12h-14h (brown bag lunch seminar), salle 12,
CENA, EHESS, 105 bd Raspail, 75006 PARIS : “Hearing Slaves Speak: Women
Slaves, Second Slavery and Abolition in Berbice, British Guiana,
1817-1834”  (dans le séminaire collectif du CENA)*
“The abolition of the slave trade by the British in 1807 and the
destruction of the plantation system in Saint-Domingue did not mean that
plantation slavery was in decline everywhere in the Atlantic World in
the early nineteenth century. It obviously flourished in Cuba and the
American South but it was also vibrant in British Guiana. In this little
studied but surprisingly important set of nineteenth-century British
colonies in the Americas, new and repressive forms of slave management
contributed to creating a very harsh form of enslavement. How did
enslaved people, especially women, cope with the situation they found
themselves in? An especially rich set of records, in which we have
direct testimony from slave women, allows these women to speak to us.
What they show is a counter-discourse from enslaved people to the ideas
of amelioration and “improvement” advocated by planters. Drawing on
notions of moral economy, this seminar explores enslaved women’s notions
of what a slave system should be and the reciprocal rights owed by
owners to slaves, as much as those that slaves were obligated to provide
to masters.”

*- Jeudi 26 novembre 2015, 17h-19h, salle 8, EHESS, 105 bd Raspail,
75006 PARIS : “The Somerset case of 1772, Granville Sharp and the Birth
of West Indian Proslavery” (dans le séminaire du CIRESC sur “Esclaves,
affranchis et ‘nouveaux libres’ dans l’espace public du monde atlantique
: race, agentivité et citoyenneté”)**
*”When Lord Mansfield decided that the slave James Somerset was entitled
to habeas corpus in 1772, it was both a vindication of the determined
lobbying of Britain’s first antislavery advocate, Granville Sharp, and
also a first warning shot from the imperial centre to a self-confident
West Indian and British slave trading interest, showing that a
significant body of metropolitan opinion was determined to inflict sever
economic damage on the region, by denying that British laws and colonial
laws relating to slavery went together. This paper examines both how the
case came into being, including the pivotal role played by Granville
Sharp in this process, and also the responses made by West Indian
writers protesting about the decision. I argue that one usually
overlooked aspect of the controversy over Somerset was that it was not
just a debate over the morality or otherwise of slavery and the slave
trade but it was also a reflection of the very mixed image that West
Indians had in how they presented themselves and their behaviour to a
British audience. That audience was increasingly interested in imperial
matters after the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763 and increasingly
appalled by what they saw as British actions abroad. By failing to
confront the representational battle – how West Indians were portrayed
by their abolitionist opponents – West Indians arguing in favour of
proslavery missed a major tool in the abolitionists’ armoury. This
failure to counter the negative image of West Indians came to hurt them
as anti-imperialist and anti-West Indian feeling became more pronounced
in Britain during the American Revolution and especially during the 1780s.”

*- Vendredi 27 novembre 2015, 16h-18h, ENS, salle IHMC, escalier D, 3e
étage, 45 rue d’Ulm 75005 PARIS : “Plantation Machines: Comparing
Jamaica and Saint-Domingue as Atlantic Societies, 1748-1788” (dans le
séminaire de Philippe Minard sur “Etat, travail et société – Angleterre,
France et colonies, XVIIIe-XIXe siècles”)*
“The sudden arrival of the Haitian Revolution in 1791 and the equally
sudden success of the British abolition movement from 1788 meant that we
find it hard to see Jamaica and Saint-Domingue as places of prosperity,
social invention and geo-political importance. Yet in the years between
the Seven Years’ War and the French Revolution, both colonies were at
the centre of French and British imaginings of the New World. A
comparison of the two places shows some differences but many structural
similarities, especially in the development of a relentless brutal but
efficient plantation machine in which slaves were worked very hard for
the benefit of a tiny elite of white owners. This plantation machine
made both colonies rich and powerful but also intensely disturbing, at
least for observers worried about the social implication of living in
societies in which nearly everything was commoditized and where money
was the measure of all things.”

*- Mardi 1er décembre 2015, 16h-18h, salle 12, CENA, EHESS, 105 bd
Raspail, 75006 PARIS : “As Much Trading as Planting Places: Urban Worlds
in Jamaica and Saint Domingue, 1745-1793″ (dans mon séminaire sur
l’histoire comparée des traites, esclavages et abolitions dans les
mondes atlantiques)**
*”The British and French Caribbean in the eighteenth century are usually
viewed through the prism of the plantation alone. Yet while the
plantation was undoubtedly important, both Saint-Domingue and Jamaica in
the Greater Antilles had a significant urban dimension. Cap Français and
Kingston were vibrant, dynamic and transformative places that
intersected with the plantation system but were coterminous with it. An
examination of these two places during a period where provincial towns
were growing and becoming more important everywhere in British and
French America helps us to understand why contemporaries found the West
Indies to be at the forefront of fascinating yet often disturbing
processes of modernization. It also allows us to examine the role of
commerce as a pulse in shaping life in plantation societies.”

Vous êtes cordialement invité-e-s à assister à ces conférences dans la
limite des places disponibles.

Bien à vous,
Cécile Vidal

Cécile Vidal
maîtresse de conférences HDR, EHESS
directrice-adjointe de Mondes Américains-UMR 8168 (CNRS/EHESS)
CENA/Mondes Américains, EHESS, 105 bd Raspail, 75006 PARIS, FRANCE – 33 1 53 63 51 88


Nicolas Marty

Nicolas Marty Professeur des Universités histoire Contemporaine, Catedràtic d'història contemporània Université de Perpignan, Universitat de Perpinyà

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