From sugar to indentured labourers, tobacco to reggae music, Europe and North America have been relentlessly consuming the Caribbean and its assets for the past five hundred years. In this fascinating book, Mimi Sheller explores this troublesome history, investigating the complex mobilities of producers and consumers, of material and cultural commodities, including:
- foodstuffs and stimulants - sugar, fruit, coffee and rum
- human bodies - slaves, indentured labourers and service workers
- cultural and knowledge products - texts, music, scientific collections and ethnology
- entire 'natures' and landscapes consumed by tourists as tropical paradise.
Consuming the Caribbean demonstrates how colonial exploitation of the Caribbean led directly to contemporary forms of consumption of the region and its products. It calls into question innocent indulgence in the pleasures of thoughtless consumption and calls for a global ethics of consumer responsibility.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Natural and Material Mobilities Part 2: Bodies, Cultures and Creolization
'This is a stunning book! It is beautifully reasoned and well-documented and demonstrates Sheller's mastery of her material, but it is much more. It is original in its approach ... and above all, it is elegantly and sensitively written.' - Janet Abu Lughod, New School of Social Research, USA
'Beautifully written, clearly argued and well exemplified, Consuming the Caribbean illustrates the importance of historically embedded and geographically extensive narratives of interconnection in helping to foster more ethical global relationships. My hope is that the book will serve to encourage greater reflexitiviy among both those who work on the Caribbean region and those who do not, but imagine that it must be 'fun' to do so. Consuming the Caribbean is a wonderful book that deserves considerable attention from geographers.' - Cultural Geographies
'Sheller tracks some of the transatlantic pathways of people, goods, images and ideas, and in so doing unearths a number of links between - as it were - then and now' -British Bulletin of Publications