CLACLS: Sugar, Slavery, and Plantation Space in 19th Century Cuba

NOV 13, 2019 | 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




November 13, 2019: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM





Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies


Dr. Ortiz-Minaya will discuss the interconnections between social relationships, material processes of production, and visual economies of plantation life. The analysis looks at the ways in which the shift from local/regional to global levels of sugar production determined specific spatial reconfigurations of the plantation itself, the Island of Cuba, and more specifically the housing arrangements for slaves, i.e., from bohios to barracones. What is the relationship between the reconfiguration of space (both inside the plantation and on the Island of Cuba); the material processes of producing sugar (given its particularities as different from coffee, tobacco, or other commodities); and how do both of these factors interplay with the social relations of everyday life?

Dr. Ortiz-Minaya is a world-historical sociologist who specializes in Atlantic slave and penal systems with specialization in Cuba. Part of his research focuses on world-historical structures of slave systems. He analyzes the institutional parallels and continuities between social-regulatory processes of enslavement and penal confinement. His forthcoming book manuscript is, From Plantation to Prison: Visual Economies of Slave Resistance, Criminal Justice, and Penal Exile in Cuba, 1820-1886. His research interests include the development of slavery across the Spanish Caribbean; Cuban sugar production in the 19th Century and the development of U.S. banking; and trans-Caribbean networks of plantation-based production during the 19th Century.

Additionally, part of his research focuses on carceral systems and examines the production of control and spaces of confinement under varying economic systems across the world-economy. As a Fulbright Specialist and Scholar, he is currently conducting research on rising levels of structural violence and mass incarceration in the world-economy with specific attention to the Caribbean and Central European regions. Dr. Ortíz-Minaya has delivered lectures and held visiting positions in the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Peru, Spain, Denmark, Ecuador, France, and England.

Event is free and open to the public.