Recruited in the aftermath of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 and before the massive transference of indentured South Asians to the West Indies, tens of thousands of Madeiran islanders worked in the sugar plantations of colonial British Guiana and the Caribbean in the nineteenth century. Their history and role in colonial Guiana are analysed in Rodney’s A History of the Guyanese Working people (1981) and Menezes The Portuguese in Guiana (1992), and their place in in the complex dynamics of ethnicity in independent Guyana is further analysed in Williams’ Stains on My Name (1991). Yet, the history of their trajectories and experiences of settlement and unsettlement is poorly known in wider circles and is not included in the Portuguese or British mainstream narratives of nation and empire; their study requires a cross-empire perspective, one that will contribute to reframing conventional approaches to empire, labour and racializations. In this research track, we will explore sources related to plantation management, politics of recruitment, transport of migrants and stowaways, court cases, consular correspondence, press, journals and personal papers complaints and proceed to interviewing on site and in destinations of remigration.
Bastos’ work addresses the challenges and lived experiences of Portuguese islanders as they embarked into the plantation world and produced their new inter-generational existences in shifting socio-economic environments
Sardinha’s work focusses on processes and experiences of intergenerational re-migration as applicable to Portuguese-Guyanese to Canada
Advisory board members
Moura Mello, Marcello. 2020. “Kali/Mariamma Worship in Guyana: A Brief Overview.” Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund Magazine 5: 81-83
Bastos, Cristiana. 2020. “Intersections of Empire, Post-Empire, and Diaspora: De-Imperializing Lusophone Studies.” Journal of Lusophone Studies 5(2): 27-54
Conferences and Seminars
Mello, Marcelo Moura. “Racialização e abolição na Guiana colonial: movimentos para além e em direção à plantação.” paper presentation, MR004 “A persistência da plantação: revisitando a racialização do trabalho e o saber insubmisso da antropologia”, 32ª RBA – Reunião Brasileira de Antropologia, 30 Outubro-6 Novembro 2020.
Bastos, Cristiana. “Dinâmicas de racialização e o avesso da etnicidade: os casos da Guiana e Hawaii“, invited lecture, Seminário de Estudos Pós-Graduados em Antropologia, ICS-ULisboa, 23 de Outubro 2020.
Mello, Marcelo Moura. “Race, colour, and class: Madeirans and African-Guyanese at the aftermath of emancipation in British Guiana.” paper presentation, Panel P033 “Bringing race-making and class struggles in plantations and export industries back to the research agenda”, 16th EASA Biennial Conference, Lisbon, 22 July 2020.
Mello, Marcelo Moura. “Match weddings and the interstices of longing in contemporary Guyana“, paper presentation, International Conference Landscapes of Indenture: Indian Ocean Routes and Beyond, organized by COLOUR, ICS-ULisboa, 6 November 2019.
Mello, Marcelo Moura. “Race and Labour in Post-Emancipation British Guiana: Madeirans and Black Creoles in Perspective” paper presentation, Panel “Contract Labour and Identity Formation in Colonial Societies: A Connected Approach”, International Conference “Global Labor Migration: Past and Present”, International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam, 20-22 June 2019.
Bastos, Cristiana. “Comparing and connecting: labour and racialization in plantation and industrial economies – notes from colonial Guiana, Hawaii and New England”, invited lecture, Two-day International Workshop “Towards establishing a comparative framework for the study of indentures labour”, The Centre for Research on Slavery and Indenture, University of Mauritius in collaboration with Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund / Secretariat, Indentured Labour Route Project, COLOUR project and ICS-ULisboa, 5-6 March 2019.
Mello, Marcelo Moura. “Madrasis in Guyana: thinking through race, labour and religion”, paper presentation. Two-day International Workshop “Towards establishing a comparative framework for the study of indentures labour”, The Centre for Research on Slavery and Indenture, University of Mauritius in collaboration with Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund / Secretariat, Indentured Labour Route Project, COLOUR project and ICS-ULisboa, 5-6 March 2019.
Richard Drayton (Kings College London), “The co-evolution of race and class: the economic origins of global regimes of status and honour C.1500-1900”, COLOUR Distinguished Lectures Series, ICS-ULisboa, 7 March 2018
2018 “Madeira, Guiana Inglesa e Canadá. Um estudo histórico pioneiro europeu.” Milénio Stadium, nº 1402, 19-25 October