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Series:

Daniela Spenser

Founder of numerous labour unions in Mexico and Latin America between 1920s and 1960s, Vicente Lombardo Toledano was not only an organiser but also a broker between them, the government and business managers, able to disentangle difficult conflicts. An operator of the Mexican government and when he found it appropriate of the neighbouring nations and even on behalf of the Soviet Union, he was identified with communism without belonging to the party and with the party of the Mexican government without being its member.

Daniela Spenser´s is the first biography of Lombardo Toledano, based on primary sources from European, Mexican and American archives, and on personal interviews. Her even-keeled portrayal of the man counters previous hagiographies or vilifications.

Moving Spaces

Creolisation and Mobility in Africa, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean

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Edited by Marina Berthet, Fernando Rosa and Shaun Viljoen

Moving Spaces: Creolisation and Mobility in Africa, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean addresses issues of creolisation, mobility, and migration of ideas, songs, stories, and people, as well as plants, in various parts of Africa, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean worlds. It brings together Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone specialists from various fields – anthropology, geography, history, language & literary studies – from Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the Indo-Pacific. It is a book which, while opening new perspectives, also intriguingly suggests that languages are essential to all processes of creolisation, and that therefore the latter cannot be understood without reference to the former. Its strength therefore lies in bringing together studies from different language domains, particularly Afrikaans, Creole, English, French, Portuguese, and Sanskrit.

Contributors include Andrea Acri, Joaze Bernardino, Marina Berthet, Alain Kaly, Uhuru Phalafala, Haripriya Rangan, Fernando Rosa, António Tomás and Shaun Viljoen.

Translating Marx

José Aricó and the New Latin American Marxism

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Martín Cortés

To speak of ‘Latin American Marxism’ is to announce a problem. To what extent can Marxism, a theoretical universe forged from nineteenth-century European experiences, also be productive for grasping other realities? How can we begin to make sense of the historical disconnection between that specific corpus of ideas and Latin America’s popular movements? Martín Cortés addresses these questions by considering the trajectory and works of José Aricó, who sought to rethink and disseminate in Spanish not only the works of Marx himself, but also those of foundational socialist thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci.
Guided by an interest in Marxism’s renovation, Cortés explores Aricó’s vital contributions to key topics in political theory, such as the nation, the state, the political subject, and hegemony.

Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina

Contesting Neo-Liberalism by Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives, and Recuperating Autogestión

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Marcelo Vieta

In Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina, Marcelo Vieta homes in on the emergence and consolidation of Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores (ERTs, worker-recuperated enterprises), a workers’ occupy movement that surged at the turn-of-the-millennium in the thick of the country’s neo-liberal crisis. Since then, around 400 companies have been taken over and converted to cooperatives by almost 16,000 workers. Grounded in class-struggle Marxism and a critical sociology of work, the book situates the ERT movement in Argentina’s long tradition of working-class activism and the broader history of workers’ responses to capitalist crisis. Beginning with the voices of the movement’s protagonists, Vieta ultimately develops a compelling social theory of autogestión – a politically prefigurative and ethically infused notion of workers’ self-management that unleashes radical social change for work organisations, surrounding communities, and beyond.

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Martijn van den Bel and Gérard Collomb

Abstract

During the 16th century, the Amerindian population of the Guianas was already aware and in contact with the Spanish settlement at Margarita. The Aruacas, the privileged allies of the Spanish, relied on their large socio-political (trade) network to obtain victuals and commercial goods from the Guianas but also raided Caribe villages to assure red slaves for the Spanish plantations and mines in the Antilles. The first encounters between the Amerindians of the eastern Guianas and the English, Dutch and French show fear of the Spanish and their allies but this arrival is taken by the local population to wage war against the Spanish and Aruacas but this time also accompanied by a North European force. These encounters took place mainly in the embouchures of rivers along the Guiana Coast, establishing a ‘zone franche’ or socio-economical free zone populated by Europeans and Amerindians which was dominated by the latter, notably the Yao of the Oyapock estuary, who controlled this coastal area through access of interior beyond the falls. In this contribution we will focus upon the Amerindian policies and alliances in these encounters, dubbed the ‘Yao Connection.’

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Marlieke Ernst and Corinne L. Hofman

Abstract

Placed within the context of the ERC-NEXUS1492 research, this paper focusses on transformations in indigenous social and material worlds in Early Colonial Hispaniola. The initial intercultural encounters in the New World have led to the creation of entirely new social identities and changing material culture repertoires in the first decennia after colonization. The incorporation of European earthenwares in the indigenous sites of El Cabo and Playa Grande will be contrasted with the presence of indigenous ceramics and new manufacturing traditions in the early Spanish colonial sites of Cotuí and Concepción de la Vega. The transformation processes in ceramic repertoires will be assessed through a multi-pronged approach using theories of gift giving, appropriation and imitation combined with archaeological and ethnoarchaeological studies of the operational sequence (chaine opératoire) of ceramic manufacture. The paper presents new insights into the dynamics of Amerindian-European-African interactions, mutual influences and resilience at the onset of colonial encounters in the Americas.

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Mary Jane Berman and Perry L. Gnivecki

Abstract

During the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the Bahama archipelago functioned as a colonial frontier impacted by Spanish policies and practices. European objects, which made their way there through numerous pathways, were easily incorporated into the indigenous (Lucayan) economic and cultural systems due to the precedents set by the Lucayan’s familiarity with non-local items and peoples through trade, exchange, and raids. Additionally, the Lucayans found European objects to be analogous to materials they knew, understood, and valued, and so they were easily assimilated into their material repertoire. The absence of direct colonial control, the sporadic and intermittent duration of direct contact experiences with the Spanish, and the manner in which the Lucayans were removed from their homeland are determined to be the reasons why we find little material evidence of Spanish encounters, minimal to no alteration of European objects, and to date, no incorporation of Spanish artifacts or elements into indigenous artifacts.

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Corinne L. Hofman, Menno L.P. Hoogland, Arie Boomert, and John Angus Martin

Abstract

During the colonization processes vast webs of social relationships emerged between Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans in the Lesser Antilles. The intercultural dynamics which materialized during this period were likely contingent on local and regional networks of peoples, goods, and ideas which had developed in the Caribbean over the previous 5000 years. This paper focusses on the impacts of colonial encounters on indigenous Carib societies by studying transformations in settlement pattern and organization, material culture, and network strategies. Recent excavations at the early colonial sites of Argyle, St. Vincent and La Poterie, Grenada have revealed the remains of indigenous villages and a set of material culture evidencing the first Amerindian, European and African interactions in the southern Lesser Antilles. In this paper, we will advance novel perspectives on intercultural dynamics in colonial encounter situations and contribute to discussions of indigenous resistance, cultural transformations, and cultural diversity in an ever globalizing world.

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Shea Henry and Robyn Woodward

Abstract

In June 1503, Columbus and his two battered ships were run aground in the sheltered harbor of St. Ann’s Bay Jamaica, 1.4 kilometers from the village of Maima. After spending a year marooned there, the Spanish left with the knowledge of the people and resources of the area. Six years later in 1509 the Spanish returned to found the Jamaican colonial capital of Sevilla la Nueva. By the time Sevilla la Nueva was abandoned in 1534, Maima was deserted. Historical records kept by the colonists indicate that the villagers were brought to the colony and made into laborers and wives. The material culture and dietary practices at Sevilla la Nueva reflects this through the presence of colonoware and Taíno adapted European goods. At Maima, very few European goods and domesticate animals were found. This, and the presence of traditional material culture and diet throughout the site, indicates continuity of a traditional way of life until their final act of resistance, abandoning Maima. This paper will discuss the adapted European/Taíno material culture and faunal remains found at both Sevilla la Neuva and Maima, illuminating, in some way, the ultimately devastating impact of contact and colonialism.

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Roberto Valcárcel Rojas

Abstract

Northeastern Cuba, particularly the modern-day province of Holguin, is one of the areas of the Caribbean with the largest number of indigenous sites yielding European objects. In the sixteenth century, most of these sites maintained direct or indirect links with Europeans, while others were transformed into permanent colonial spaces by the Spaniards. The study of European objects found at these sites suggests that some of these items were acquired through exchange or as gifts. However, the largest collections of objects appear to have originally functioned as tools or other items used by both Europeans and Indians for mining and agricultural labor. We believe this pattern was established as a result of a process of conquest and colonization specific to Cuba, during which European colonizers rapidly managed to control the local population, thus limiting the indigenous capacity for negotiation.