Gregg Mitman

Gregg Mitman

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

BOOK

THE WORLD THAT FIRESTONE BUILT

Capitalism, American Empire and the Forgotten Promise of Liberia

In 1926, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company gained access to one million acres of land in the West African nation of Liberia to establish a rubber plantation. The goal was to create a supply of this vital commodity for the United States free from British control. Firestone succeeded by bringing the forces of private capital, foreign diplomacy, and science and medicine to bear on the transformation of nature and a nation.
The World That Firestone Built is a sweeping story of commerce and science, racial politics and political maneuvering, and ecology and disease. Revealing the symbiotic relations of business, science, and government in the making of a corporate empire, it is the story of a celebrated American company whose tentacles would reach into almost every part of Liberia, touching the land and lives of its people. In the making of a vast plantation, built off the land and labor of a sovereign Black republic, Firestone reaped enormous profits as the seeds were sown for a devastating civil war and, eventually, the worst Ebola outbreak in human history.

SEMINARS

INTERROGATING THE PLANTATIONOCENE

Sawyer Seminar

This John E. Sawyer Seminar, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, draws together activists, anthropologists, artists, environmental scientists, geographers, historians, literary scholars, and sociologists, among others, to explore the plantation as a transformational moment in human and natural history on a global scale.  Featuring a series of public talks, roundtables, workshops, films screenings, and exhibitions that run from February 2019 to April 2020, the seminar interrogates the past and present of plantations, the economic, ecological, and political transformations they wrought, and their significance to the making of human bodies, capitalism, and land over the course of four centuries.

CURRENT PROJECTS

BOOK

THE WORLD THAT FIRESTONE BUILT

Capitalism, American Empire and the Forgotten Promise of Liberia

In 1926, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company gained access to one million acres of land in the West African nation of Liberia to establish a rubber plantation. The goal was to create a supply of this vital commodity for the United States free from British control. Firestone succeeded by bringing the forces of private capital, foreign diplomacy, and science and medicine to bear on the transformation of nature and a nation.
The World That Firestone Built is a sweeping story of commerce and science, racial politics and political maneuvering, and ecology and disease. Revealing the symbiotic relations of business, science, and government in the making of a corporate empire, it is the story of a celebrated American company whose tentacles would reach into almost every part of Liberia, touching the land and lives of its people. In the making of a vast plantation, built off the land and labor of a sovereign Black republic, Firestone reaped enormous profits as the seeds were sown for a devastating civil war and, eventually, the worst Ebola outbreak in human history.

SEMINAR

INTERROGATING THE PLANTATIONOCENE

Sawyer Seminar

This John E. Sawyer Seminar, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, draws together activists, anthropologists, artists, environmental scientists, geographers, historians, literary scholars, and sociologists, among others, to explore the plantation as a transformational moment in human and natural history on a global scale.  Featuring a series of public talks, roundtables, workshops, films screenings, and exhibitions that run from February 2019 to April 2020, the seminar interrogates the past and present of plantations, the economic, ecological, and political transformations they wrought, and their significance to the making of human bodies, capitalism, and land over the course of four centuries.

© 2019 Gregg Mitman