ANCLAS presents at La Trobe Latin American History seminar

ANCLAS presents at La Trobe Latin American History seminar
Cándido Lopez - Trinchera de Curupaytí - Google Art Project
Tuesday 26 July 2022

On 5 May 2022, ANCLAS Co-Director Dr. Caroline Schuster delivered the La Trobe Archaeology and History research seminar in their special series on Latin American History led by Dr. Claudia Haake.

Dr. Schuster’s lecture traced the link between settler colonialism and speculative land deals in the wake of Paraguay’s War of the Triple Alliance.

Settling Accounts and Unsettling the Frontier in Paraguay’s Long 19th C of Debt and Default.

In the aftermath of the devastating War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870), which saw Paraguay defeated by the combined military forces of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, the reconstruction of Paraguayan society was tightly linked to operations of high finance on London bond markets. Although 20th Century leftist historiography of British imperialism in Latin America has often implied a colonial financial motive for the conflict, this seminar tells a more subtle story of the shifting political economy of wealth in the hemisphere. Drawing on the British Corporation of Foreign Bondholder (CFB) archives and oral histories of land tenancy in rural Paraguay, this talk develops an account of the social, moral, and political process of financial settlement that unfolded over decades of default and refinancing. A portrait of new speculative wealth in land emerges, but one that is surprisingly decoupled from settler colonial preoccupations with governance, occupation, and territory. The emergence of Land Warrants as an asset class in 19th Century Paraguay provides timely lessons about the dominance of financial actors within property and rental markets today.

The recording of the lecture is available here.

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Updated:  26 July 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications