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Colonizing Landscapes: Colonial Development and the Making of a Transpacific Proletariat (Roneva Keel presents in Labor Studies Workshare Series, 2/28/18)

Posted: 2/26/2018 (Local Events)

This paper considers capitalist agricultural development in the Philippines and the emergence of a transpacific proletariat across two colonial regimes. Specifically, capital’s reorganization of landscapes for the production of sugar introduced a new way of structuring power relations through the ownership of land and the private exploitation of natural resources.

The paper begins with an historical analysis of the commodification of the land, which defined the scope of legitimate forms of social reproduction reinforced by state violence during the late Spanish and early American periods. The remainder of this paper explores how the displacement and dispossession of Filipino peasants worked hand-in-hand with American colonial education and agricultural development efforts to remake Filipinos into “free labor.”

This working paper seeks to develop an argument about how the capitalization of land and the proletarianization of labor, under the guise of land distribution and paternalistic tutelage, produced the Philippine colony and generated a mobile population of labor.

We will distribute Roneva’s paper by the end of this week. Light lunch and coffee will be provided. Please RSVP to

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Date: 02/28/2018

Time: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Location: Smith Hall, Room 306