In 1903, a young woman sailed from India to Guiana as a “coolie”— the British name for indentured laborers who replaced the newly emancipated slaves on sugar plantations all around the world. Pregnant and traveling alone, this woman, like so many of the indentured, disappeared into history. In the monograph, Coolie Woman, her great-granddaughter Gaiutra Bahadur embarks on a journey into the past to find her. Traversing three continents and trawling through countless colonial archives, Bahadur excavates not only her great-grandmother’s story but also the repressed history of some quarter of a million other coolie women, shining a light on their complex lives.
In her talk on Sewanee campus, "Conjure Women and Coolie Women,” Gaiutra Bahadur will talk about indenture, slavery, the fictions of the archive and the intersections of private and public histories. Bahadur will also draw parallels between the archives of slavery and the archives of indenture, African-American storytelling and Indo-Caribbean storytelling.
The lecture starts at 5 p.m. in Gailor Auditorium on March 29, 2018.
Open to the public.
For more information about the author click here