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Capitalism and Cloves: Islamic Plantations on Nineteenth-Century Zanzibar

Capitalism and Cloves: Islamic Plantations on Nineteenth-Century Zanzibar

Monday, April 28, 2014

Th Wenner-Gren Foundation

Presented By

Presented by the Anthropology Section


Plantation landscapes have been understood by historical archaeologists to be fundamentally part of the expansion of global capitalism. This talk explores this taken-for-granted assumption through the study of Islamic plantations on nineteenth-century Zanzibar. Through a combination of archaeological and historical data I explore how landscapes were understood by Omani settler colonists on the island during the 1800s, in the process questioning the manner in which capitalism and European culture are generally assumed to be synonymous.

*A dinner and wine reception precedes this event at 6:00pm.


Sarah K. Croucher, PhD

Wesleyan University

Sarah Croucher is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Archaeology, and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University. She is a historical archaeologist, with a primary research focus on the archaeology of the nineteenth century. Her major research projects investigate Omani colonialism in East Africa, global historical archaeology, and questions of race in New England. She directs fieldwork projects in Zanzibar and Connecticut. Sarah’s recent publications include “Capitalism and Cloves: an archaeology of plantation life on nineteenth century Zanzibar” (Springer, 2014), and “The Archaeology of Capitalism in Colonial Contexts: postcolonial historical archaeologies” (Springer 2011, ed. with L. Weiss).

Registration Pricing

This meeting is free, but you will need to register in advance.

Travel & Lodging

Meeting Location

The Wenner-Gren Foundation

470 Park Avenue South, between 31st and 32nd Streets
8th Floor
New York, NY 10016