About joshuahastings

Student at Westminster University

Creolization and Diaspora

Creolization and Diaspora: Historical, Ethnographic and Theoretical Approaches

Conference: University College London, 27-28 June, 2002
Sponsored by the ESRC Transnational Communities Programme, and the Department of Anthropology, University College London

The concept of creolization first came into prominence after the European discovery of the Americas to describe the process by which Old World life forms became indigenous in the New World. Today `creolization’ appears in writings on globalization and postmodernity as a synonym of ‘hybridity’ and ‘syncretism’ to portray the mixtures occurring amongst societies in an age of migration and telecommunications. The historical record reminds us that creolization did not refer centrally to mixture, but just to the adaptive effects of living in a new environment. One of the aims of this conference will be to explore the genealogy of creolization for similar insights that may help to reframe our understanding of transnational communities, past and present.

This is an interdisciplinary undertaking that will bring together scholars from the fields of history (including historians of science/medicine), linguistics, anthropology, and literary/cultural studies to discuss the meanings of creole and creolization. At present there exists no published interdisciplinary overview of creolization, and the collective volume that will arise from this conference should become a standard reference point for those wishing to understand the complex meanings of creolization. Participants are particularly encouraged to consider the dyadic relationship between homelands and diasporas. Is society in the homeland a yardstick for measuring the divergent creole? Does the fact of ongoing creolization (abroad) threaten the homeland? At what point do creoles renounce the homeland, claim independence, or become so utterly different as to be unrelated to it? Is deracination accompanied by anxiety about loss of authenticity or cultural competence? Can creoles return ‘home’? Can people de-creolize? The conference aims to further our understanding of the process of creolization as it has occurred in the past and as it is now occurring throughout the world today.

Topics to be addressed at the conference will include:
· The genesis of the creole — conquest and colonization of the Americas
· Creolization and physical change – Lamarckism, disease, resistance, adaptation
· The logic of differing national meanings of ‘Creole’ (criollo, crioulo)
· The rise of creole linguistics – critical historiography
· Ethnographic accounts of present-day, self-denominated creole communities (e.g. Mauritius, Trinidad) – contemporary politics of creole identity
· Homelands vs. creolized diasporas — deracination, anxiety and authenticity
· Creolization in contemporary theory — mixture, hybridity, post-modernity

Further details: Dr. Charles Stewart, Department of Anthropology, University College London. c.stewart@ucl.ac.uk



The Abolition of British Slavery – Interactive Map


The BBC have quite good resources, and I remember using their website when I was in school.

How do I update this? How do I develop this?

I need to answer this in my project. What I do know is that my audience don’t expect to be patronised, and are quite sophisticated when it comes to their visual media preferences. When you consider the video games, websites, and mobile technology that they are accustomed to, you can see that 11-16 year olds are quite advanced, and are more complex in their thinking than they are credited. I remember when I was in school thinking I knew more than the teachers, and feeling patronised by them, so I have no doubt that school kids can be strong-minded and capable of forming their own opinions.


Free The Slaves




I feel quite ignorant, not having given the issue of modern-day slavery much thought. I want to learn more, and find out especially what organizations are doing, and how possibly I could be involved. I feel this project will be worthwhile for myself, and I want to make it worthwhile for the different causes aimed at eradicating slavery. I have no doubt that slavery exists even in London, so this is definitely an issue that didn’t end with the Abolition of Slavery.

*What I have also noticed is how many interactive maps are available online, so I need to think for the project how a develop a visual style that suits the need of my audience and can stand apart. Most importantly, I don’t want to lose sight of the educational purpose of my project, and a rewriting of Black History in a global history that reflects the current present. Children will be at the focal point, and I have seen recently in the news how young people respond to children similar to them, albeit in desperate situations:

Boy raises cash for Syria

A seven-year-old boy has swum 21 miles to help children in Syria.


Human Trafficking in the World




This map shows government action to combat human trafficking and modern slavery in 177 countries with Tier 1 ranking as the highest ranking. A Tier 1 indicates that a state government has recognized the problem of human trafficking, has made efforts to address the issue, and meets the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards. A country with a Tier 2 rating has not met the standards but has made efforts to do so, while a Tier 3 rating means the country has not met the minimum standards and has not attempted to do so.

What is Human Trafficking?

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Human Trafficking defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs, forced recruitment for child soldiers.

Major forms of human trafficking include: forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage among migrant laborers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, child sex trafficking.

How is Human Trafficking Tier placement is calculated?

The Department of State, United States of America prepared this report using information from U.S. embassies, government officials, NGOs and international organizations, published reports, research trips to every region, and information submitted to tipreport [at] state.gov.

U.S. diplomatic posts and domestic agencies reported on the trafficking situation and governmental action based on thorough research that included meetings with a wide variety of government officials, local and international NGO representatives, officials of international organizations, journalists, academics, and survivors. Every U.S. mission overseas employs at least one officer covering human trafficking issues.

The Department places each country in one of three tiers as mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA). This placement is based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than on the size of the problem, although the latter is also an important factor. The analyses are based on the extent of governments’ efforts to reach compliance with the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.

Tier Placement as follows:

  • TIER 1: Countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPA minimum standards.
  • TIER 2: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
  • TIER 2 WATCH LIST: Same as TIER 2, but: the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; also there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or, the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.
  • TIER 3: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.


*This subject area is very interesting for me as I had no real idea of it before. It’s something I want to explore further and find out more about. I will try to attend the Anti-Slavery Walk 2nd Dec, for further research: http://www.antislavery.org/english/shop/slaverywalk.aspx

*http://chartsbin.com/ also allow users to create their own maps which is something I’ll have a go at.

If There Were Only 100 People Left On Earth


I found these charts very interesting. They present information quickly and clearly, and a few statistics especially about education and internet access really shocked me. There are doubts about the accuracy of the data, but relating to my project and ideas, in particular the charts on nationality and skin colour, it deals with is issues in a contemporary context which is what my audience prefer.

Geography of Race in the U.S.


Although I have shifted my focus somewhat from race in itself, I still find it very interesting to see how it is dealt with in the present day.

This website explores the spatial distribution of racial groups in the United States, its historical and contemporary causes, and its consequences for racial inequality. Location matters for one’s access to many goods: decent housing, employment opportunities, voting power, education, low-cost public services, a clean environment, connections to influential people. Managing the spatial distribution of racial groups has therefore been a key tool for controlling who gets access to these goods. This website focuses on the role of government and laws in constructing the spacial distribution of racial groups, although some attention is also paid to private sector actions. The interactive maps and other information contained in this site reveal several dimensions of this process

I can see some of the errors in my thinking, especially with information gathered about my audience. People want to see what is happening now! It isn’t out of apathy for the past, but a more pressing concern for real life situations. I think that there is a link to be made between the present and past, however the present must be the starting point.

*Just a thought, the most recent cases of racism have been in football. And also in wider British society, discrimination seems more frequent to me against South Asian, and Muslim communities in Britain. Although I’ve experienced ‘anti-black’ racism, that is perhaps an exception to the current abhorrent Islamophobic rule.

*Also, this work takes into account economic and political factors which I have all too often glossed over. Race as social, is socioeconomic and also sociopolitical.

Online Maps

7 Innovative online maps

These are very clear and accessible ways of viewing information. My brother and his age group expect visual and interactive data given the culture we live in, and the use of maps is something I definitely want to take forward in the project.

Products of Slavery

This map of the locations where child labor happens around the world presents a complex issue in a way that is very simple and easy to understand. Site visitors can view the top 25 countries where products are made with child labor and also toggle between the map view and several graph views.



Mapping America: Every City, Every Block

This New York Times map that displays census data on race in America is most notable for showing just how many neighborhoods are clearly divided by race. For example, Manhattan’s 95th street has mostly White residents on one side and Black and Hispanic residents on the other. Los Angeles’ Santa Monica Boulevard creates a similar divide — a large percentage of residents who live north of the avenue are White, while the majority of those who live south of the street are Hispanic, as evidenced by the colored dots.


Geography = Good

I also found from my research why Geography for the non-history lover is more preferable:

  • Fact
  • See what is happening around you now
  • Children
  • Population
  • Economy
  • Climates
  • Rivers
  • What will it be in the future
  • Tangible
  • Statistics
  • Universal, refers to the world
  • No opinion, no bias
  • Visualise it

Adapting my interest in geography and maps, space and place, and belonging, I want to bear in mind the points above, applying them to history. I’ve highlighted a few points that I think I need to deal with in the early stages of development.

What stands out to me was a quick comment from my brother about his Geography classes, that he gets to see the world around him and children. It seems logical that he would want to be able to relate with others around him, around the world, and that these themes would be of more interest to him. Immediately I think that children and young adults should be a focus in my work, in relation to global slavery.

It is something I have never consider in much depth and welcome any advice on where I can find more information.