Race, Space and the Kinopolitics of Place in Hispaniola: Notes on Primitive Accumulation
Join the Franklin Humanities Institute for its new Friday morning series, tgiFHI! This presentation is part of the conference "Neoliberalisms in the Americas."
In countering the charges of activists who likened the conditions of Haitian sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic to slaves and slavery, several analysts have concluded that their lives were fundamentally "unslave-like." This presentation contends that such reflections about modern 20th century plantations in the Dominican Republic, in the first instance, disallow seeing the patterns of power embedded in the operations of state and capital at various moments in their (ordo- and neo-liberal) career of global violence. And secondly, deny the ongoing significance of 'primitive accumulation' processes- that is, the "kinopolitics" (as proposed by Nail 2016) and processes of dispossession/expulsion and extraction/expansion. In contrast, we proffer that what a history of plantations reveals, not least those built by corporate America and their later nationalized iterations in the DR, is the way in which the dynamic practices composing capitalism are fundamentally imbued with peculiar racial power effects rehearsed, performed and worked out through the border making processes of primitive accumulation, nation-state identity formation and the calibration of a modern idea of 'stateness' through 'sovereignty itself.'