Palm Oil Diaspora: Afro-Brazilian Landscapes and Economies on Bahia's Dende Coast

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by Case Watkins

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Behind the social and environmental destruction of modern palm oil production lies a long and complex history of landscapes, cultures, and economies linking Africa and its diaspora in the Atlantic World. Case Watkins traces palm oil from its prehistoric emergence in western Africa to biodiverse groves and cultures in Northeast Brazil, and finally the plantation monocultures plundering contemporary rainforest communities. Drawing on ethnography, landscape interpretation, archives, travelers' accounts, and geospatial analysis, Watkins examines human-environmental relations too often overlooked in histories and geographies of the African diaspora, and uncovers a range of formative contributions of people and ecologies of African descent to the societies and environments of the (post)colonial Americas. Bridging literatures on Black geographies, Afro-Brazilian and Atlantic studies, political ecology, and decolonial theory and praxis, this study connects diverse concepts and disciplines to analyze and appreciate the power, complexity, and potentials of Bahia's Afro-Brazilian palm oil economy.

About the Author

Case Watkins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at James Madison University. He co-authored Hispanic and Latino New Orleans (2015), winner of the John Brinckerhoff Jackson Prize in 2015.

Product Details

Category: History, Brazil

Language: English

Format/Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

ISBN-10: 1108746233

ISBN-13: 978-1108746236

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Date Published: September 21, 2023

Pages: 367

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