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Date: Feb 01, 2021

After Indenture: British Liner Companies and "Racial Management" in the Early Twentieth Century February 8, 2021: Next Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture Series by Ravi Ahuja, University of Göttingen

February 8, 2021: Next Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture Series by Ravi Ahuja, University of Göttingen

If unfree wage labor based on "indenture" agreements was phased out in "British India" after 1917, other modalities of interlacing work contracts with subordinate status persisted. Traces of master and servant law continued, for instance, in maritime labor law and particularly in the racialized "lascar agreements" of South Asian seafarers. But subordinate status was also assigned through devices external yet linked to the work contract: some of them long established (such as debt bondage), others of more recent origin (namely immigration restrictions). The use of such devices actually expanded in the early decades of the twentieth century as British steamship liner companies, in particular, recurred to "racial management" techniques in controlling their workforce.

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