Brown Bag Island Masters: Gender, Race, and Power in the Eighteenth-Century British Caribbean 26 June 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Brooke Newman, Virginia Commonwealth University

At its height in the late eighteenth century, Jamaica was the most valuable and productive of Britain’s colonial possessions in the Atlantic world. Yet intertwined with Jamaica’s reputation for unparalleled profit was a growing apprehension of settler degeneration—in manners, morals, bloodlines, and especially life expectancy. The island, as one would-be colonist put it, offers “the most flattering prospect of pecuniary acquisition or death.” Such notions signify Britain’s ambivalent and contradictory relationship with Jamaica, and the West India colonies more generally, during the era of slavery.