Beyond Racism and Poverty

SUMMARY The truck system is an understudied form of labor coercion that existed on a global scale in the period 1865-1920. Under this system, workers were forced to accept payments in kind through the company store. In Beyond Racism and Poverty Karin Lurvink describes how this system functioned on plantations in Louisiana in comparison with peateries in the Netherlands. In the United States, the system is often viewed as a 'second slavery' and strongly associated with racism. In the Netherlands, however, not racism but poverty has been seen as the main reason for its continued existence. By using a variety of historical sources and by analyzing the perspectives of both employers and workers, Lurvink provides new insights into how the truck system worked and can be explained. She reveals how the system was not only coercive but had advantages for the workers as well, which should not be overlooked.

03/02/2018 | 2:45 PM

When: Friday March 2, 14.45-18.00 hrs.
Where: International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam

14.45: Walk-in with coffee/tea
15.10: Welcome by prof. dr. Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, Universiteit Utrecht
15.20: prof. dr. Damian Pargas, Leiden University, ‘On proto-peasants and peasants:
A long-term perspective on the truck system’
15.50: dr. Maarten Zwiers, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, ‘Pickup Trucks and Dirt Bikes:
Country rock Music from the Dutch Northeast and the U.S. South’
16.10: dr. Karin Lurvink, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, ‘Beyond Racism and Poverty. The Truck System on Louisiana Plantations and Dutch Peateries, 1865-1920’
16.45: Presenting the book to dr. Frans Verhagen, author of History of the United States (2017)
17.00: Drinks and opportunity to congratulate and buy the book
(for a discounted price at the representatives of Brill)

Entrance is free, but please register in advance: