Convict, Unfree and Coerced: Workers and the Expansion of Global Empires, a special issue edited by Diane Kirkby and Vivien Miller.
Captive and coerced workers, and their bodies, had crucial economic value to expansionist and aggrandizing European, Asian and American imperial powers. The articles in this special issue bring into focus the unfree labour performed in seven distinct locations and contexts: Newcastle Penal Station in New South Wales, post-Emancipation British Guiana, pastoral industries in Queensland and Western Australia, the carceral archipelagos of the Late Ottoman and New Zealand Pacific empires, and Mandatory Palestine. Enslaved people, peons, indentures, prisoners of war, and soldiers, as well as civilian, “ordinary” and political prisoners, and many other categories of unfree labour were utilised in most sectors of British, Ottoman and New Zealand imperial economies. Collectively, the articles here expand scholarly knowledge and analyses of globalising coerced and carceral labour in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.