Book launch: Reproducing the British Caribbean by Juanita De Barros

The Harriet Tubman Institute is pleased to present the launch of Juanita De Barros’ book, Reproducing the British Caribbean: Sex, Gender, and Population Politics after Slavery (University of North Carolina Press), on Thursday January 15th, 2015 from 4:30 – 630pm in 280N York Lanes, York University, Keele Campus.

Reproducing the British Caribbean: Sex, Gender, and Population Politics after SlaveryThis book traces the history of ideas and policymaking concerning population growth and infant and maternal welfare in Caribbean colonies wrestling with the aftermath of slavery. Focusing on Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados from the nineteenth century through the 1930s, when violent labor protests swept the region, De Barros takes a comparative approach in analyzing the struggles among former slaves and masters attempting to determine the course of their societies after emancipation.

Invested in the success of the “great experiment” of slave emancipation, colonial officials developed new social welfare and health policies. Concerns about the health and size of ex-slave populations were expressed throughout the colonial world during this period. In the Caribbean, an emergent black middle class, rapidly increasing immigration, and new attitudes toward medicine and society were crucial factors. While hemispheric and diasporic trends influenced the new policies, De Barros shows that local physicians, philanthropists, midwives, and the impoverished mothers who were the targets of this official concern helped shape and implement efforts to ensure the health and reproduction of Caribbean populations in the decades before independence.

Juanita De BarrosJuanita De Barros teaches Caribbean and African diasporic history at McMaster University. She is affiliated with McMaster’s Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition as well as with the Centre for Research in Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, both at York University. Her research concentrates on gender, urban history, and the social history of health and medicine in the Caribbean in the late 19th and 20th centuries. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters and has co-edited several essay collections, including Health and Medicine in the Circum-Caribbean, 1800-1968 (Routledge, 2009) ((with David Wright and Steven Palmer).

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