Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
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History Department Conference Room, Robinson Hall 125, 35 Quincy St., Cambridge

The Plantation: Violence and Imaginary Order in the Gardens of Suriname and Amsterdam

Pepijn Brandon, VU Amsteram, will discuss "The World as a Garden: War, Land and Dispossession in 17th-century Dutch Expansion" as part three of the 2020 Erasmus Lectures on the History and Civilization of the Netherlands and Flanders. 

The final lecture explores the plantation as an ideal-type of colonial governance and capitalist ordering through the lens of a strange historic coincidence. In 1683 the City of Amsterdam acquired a 1/3 part ownership of the plantation colony Suriname. That very same year, the mayors of Amsterdam decided to designate an entire neighborhood for leisure gardens, and called it “The Plantation”. Seventeenth-century Europeans depicted the plantation, the site of unspeakable horrors, as a model of rationally ordered agriculture, and often gave their plantations the same names as their domestic leisure gardens. This lecture will examine deeper connections between rationality and order, chaos and brutality behind this horticultural imagery.

Contact Name: 

Jessica Barnard

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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