This line of research dialogues mostly with tracks I-III (Guyana/Caribbean, Hawai’i and New England) of the Colour of Labour project – the voyaging experiences of indentured plantation labourers moving from Madeira to the plantations, and the working experiences of whaling and whalers based in New Bedford and surrounding areas. The goals are: to unveil new ways of understanding colonialism through mobility; to provide accounts and portraits of life aboard 19th-century migrant ships; to theorise on the production of ideologies of authority/dominance within the ship-life; to examine the reproduction of racial categories through oceanic journeys.
My research is focused on sea life and oceanic mobilities. The travels of indentured servants and labour migrants, particularly in the post-abolition context, often appear either as statistics or as a consequence of territorial projects – colonisation, settlement, plantations, etc. But the seas – the experiences of moving, the feelings and conditions of the journey – may have well been where most of the ideologies of race, segregation and differentiation were formed in the first place. This research has been designed to take a keener look at these realities, giving accounts of the maritime experiences of indentured migrants and sea workers in the 19th century.
Life on board was far more than a suspended period between the old and new lives of migrants; it was a concentrated experience of life, death, diseases, survival, tensions, fights, suffering, celebrations, festivities, accomplishments, etc. Through the physicians’, surgeons’ and captains’ logs I will explore particular aspects of that complex experience, with a main focus on measles and other epidemics on board.
Bastos, Cristiana, André Nóvoa and Noel Salazar. 2021. “Mobile Labour: an introduction”. Mobilities, Special issue on Mobile Labour, 16(2): 155-163.
Bastos, Cristiana. 2021. “Intersections of Empire, Post-Empire, and Diaspora: De-Imperializing Lusophone Studies” [republication] in Coolitude 2, an Anthology: 31 years of sign crossing in indenture, ed. Khal Torabully and Marina Carter. Kindle Format.
Bastos, Cristiana. 2020. “Indenture-at-wide: learning from Madeiran sugar routes.” Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund Magazine 5: 58-60
Nóvoa, André. 2021. Special Issue on “OceanCrossings.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies
Bastos, Cristiana. 2020. “Febre a bordo: migrantes, epidemias, quarentenas.” Horizontes Antropológicos 57: 27-55.
Conferences and seminars
Bastos, Cristiana. “The Madeiran Sugar Trail“, paper presentation, International Conference “Labour, Sugar and Long-distance Migration: Madeirans and Azoreans in Guyana, the Caribbean and Hawai’i”, organized by COLOUR project, Funchal, 14-15 November 2019
Novoa, Andre. “Sailors & whalers: forerunners of Portuguese labour migration to North America?“, paper presentation, International Conference “Labour, Sugar and Long-distance Migration: Madeirans and Azoreans in Guyana, the Caribbean and Hawai’i”, organized by COLOUR project, Funchal, 14-15 November 2019.
Novoa, Andre. “Labor and mobility: Whaling voyage and transportation logs”, paper presentation, International Conference “Migration and Mill Work: Portuguese Communities in Industrial New England.”, COLOUR project in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, 3–6 December 2017
Panel “Moving and moving again: embodied identifications along multiple trajectories” Convenors: Andre Novoa (Institute of Social Sciences (University of Lisbon)); Cristiana Bastos (University of Lisbon) Discussants: Virginia Dominguez (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Joint CASCA and IUAES Conference/InterCongress, University of Ottawa, Canada. 2-7 May 2017
Bastos, Cristiana. “Plantation islanders: Madeiran trajectories across empires.”. paper presentation. Panel “Moving and moving again: embodied identifications along multiple trajectories”, Joint CASCA and IUAES Conference/InterCongress, University of Ottawa, Canada. 2-7 May 2017
Novoa, Andre. “A country on wheels: an ethnography of Portuguese truck drivers“. paper presentation. Panel “Moving and moving again: embodied identifications along multiple trajectories”, Joint CASCA and IUAES Conference/InterCongress, University of Ottawa, Canada. 2-7 May 2017