African Studies Colloquium Series

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | 3:30-5:00 pm

Case Watkins -- Cultures and Landscapes of African Oil Palm in Colonial Bahia

Long essential in many West African societies, palm oil became an integral component of Afro-Brazilian culture and cuisine in the early colonial period, and the palm groves that yield the oil represent an Afro-Brazilian landscape. Watkins, a PhD candidate in geography and anthropology at LSU, marshals evidence from colonial archives, travellers' accounts, ethnographies, fieldwork, and digital geographic data to analyse the development of Bahia’s Palm Oil Coast. While Africans and Afro-Brazilians emerge as principal actors, the analysis places humans within a broader socio-ecological framework to demonstrate how cultural-historical processes, biogeographies, agroecologies, and Atlantic commerce all coalesced to establish and sustain Bahia’s Afro-Brazilian landscape, and help integrate an Atlantic World.

229A New Cabell Hall

Free and Open to the Public