Power, Political Economy, and Historical Landscapes of the Modern World

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited by Christopher R. DeCorse

Subjects: Sociology, History, Postcolonial Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology
Series: SUNY series, Fernand Braudel Center Studies in Historical Social Science
Hardcover : 9781438473437, 418 pages, April 2019
Paperback : 9781438473420, 418 pages, January 2020

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

1. Historical Landscapes of the Modern World
Christopher R. DeCorse

2. 1492: A Different Kind of "Discovery"
Matthew Johnson

3. Indigenous Caribbean Networks in a Globalizing World
Corinne L. Hofman

4. Rethinking Colonial Maya Peripherality: Colonial Frictions, Salvaged Value, and the Production of Modernity in
Highland Guatemala
Guido Pezzarossi

5. Early Modern Landscapes of Chocolate: The Case of Tacuscalco
Kathryn Sampeck

6. Early-Seventeenth-Century Settlement in Barbados and the Shift to Sugar, Slavery, and Capitalism
Douglas V. Armstrong

7. Indefensible Landscapes: Power Dynamics, Social Relations, and Antigua's Eighteenth-Century Fortifications
Christopher Kurt Waters

8. Graveyards as Landscapes of Power in the Early Modern Atlantic World
Erik R. Seeman

9. Life beyond the City: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives on Colonial Andean Mobility
Noa Corcoran-Tadd

10. Landscapes of Emergent Frontier Economies at Mission San Buenaventura
Thomas E. Tolley

11. Bending but Unbroken: The Nine Tribes of the Northern Tsimshian through the Colonial Era
Andrew Martindale, George MacDonald, and Sage Vanier

12. Crisis and Transformation in the Bight of Benin at the Dawn of the Atlantic Trade
Gérard L. Chouin and Olanrewaju Blessing Lasisi

13. Nineteenth-Century Coastal Guinea: Manifestations of the "Illegal" Slave Trade in a Local System
Kenneth G. Kelly

14. Economic and Material Basis of Wildlife Preservation in Early Colonial East Africa
Martin S. Shanguhyia

15. Huge Oceans, Small Comparisons: Danish Enclaves in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans
Mark W. Hauser


Reveals how the expanding world-system entangled the non-western world in global economies, yet did so in ways that were locally articulated, varied, and, often, non-European in their expression.


This interdisciplinary volume brings together a richly substantive collection of case studies that examine European-indigene interactions, economic relations, and their materialities in the formation of the modern world. Research has demonstrated the extent and complexity of the varied local economic and political systems, and diverse social formations that predated European contact. These preexisting systems articulated with the expanding European economy and, in doing so, shaped its emergence. Moving beyond the confines of national or Atlantic histories to examine regional systems and their historical trajectories on a global scale, the studies within this volume draw examples from the Caribbean, Mesoamerica, North America, South America, Africa, and South Asia. While the contributions are rooted in substantive studies from different world areas, their overarching aim is to negotiate between global and local frames, revealing how the expanding world-system entangled the non-Western world in global economies, yet did so in ways that were locally articulated, varied and, often, non-European in their expression.

Christopher DeCorse is Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University. He is the author of several books, including Anthropology: A Global Perspective and Anthropology: The Basics.


"Taken as a whole, the volume provides an interesting anthology of postmodern approaches to World Systems Theory." — American Antiquity