Alessandro Stanziani, Labor on the fringes of Empires, 2018


After the abolition of slavery in the Indian Ocean and Africa, the world
of labor remained unequal, exploitative, and violent, straddling a fine
line between freedom and unfreedom. This book explains why. Unseating
the Atlantic paradigm of bondage and drawing from a rich array of
colonial, estate, plantation and judicial archives, Alessandro Stanziani
investigates the evolution of labor relationships on the Indian
subcontinent, the Indian Ocean and Africa, with case studies on Assam,
the Mascarene Islands and the French Congo. He finds surprising
relationships between African and Indian abolition movements and
European labor practices, inviting readers to think in terms of
trans-oceanic connections rather than simple oppositions. Above all, he
considers how the meaning and practices of freedom in the colonial world
differed profoundly from those in the mainland. Arguing for a
multi-centered view of imperial dynamics, Labor on the Fringes of Empire is a pioneering global history of nineteenth-century labor.


Alessandro Stanziani is Professor of Global History at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) at PSL Research University, France. He has authored seven books and more than 130 peer reviewed articles and edited eight books.