The Plantation Metropole


Rob McLoone, The University of Iowa


This panel focuses on the cities and towns of Southern, Caribbean, and New Spanish colonies and asks how these developing urban spaces took part in the making, stability, and cultural and literary life of plantation societies in the long eighteenth century.  How might studies framed by plantation America’s cultural and urban centers broaden our definition of “the plantation” and what might they tell us about how plantations became during this period what Édouard Glissant calls “one of the focal points for the development of present-day modes of Relation” and “one of the bellies of the [modern] world?”  Papers that trouble traditional divisions between plantation and metropole are especially welcome.  Possible topics might include: civic spaces as plantation spaces; new perspectives on planter cosmopolitanism; plantations and towns/cities as parallel spaces of contact and transculturation; slavery in the city; processes of economic accumulation and centralization, local colonial print cultures as plantation literature; the social order of the plantation and city design/engineering; theater companies and community theater in the plantation colonies; and the oral, sung, or written urban landscapes and soundscapes of developing plantation metropoles. 


Please email proposals of no more than 500 words to Rob McLoone at by Friday, September 7, 2012.