Refiguring the Plantationocene

Racial Capitalism, World-Systems Analysis, and Global Socioecological Transformation


  • Michael Warren Murphy University of Pittsburgh
  • Caitlin Schroering University of Pittsburgh



Environmental Sociology, World-systems Analysis, Plantation, Plantationocene


While sympathetic to debates about the utility, accuracy, and significance of the “Anthropocene,” in this brief essay, we are most interested in implicating racialization, colonization, and their ongoing place in the capitalist world-economy and global ecological change. To this end, we point to the potential of thinking with the “Plantationocene,” considering that to invoke the plantation is to simultaneously contend with the intermeshing organization of the colonialist/imperialist, racialist, and capitalist dimensions of the world-system as directly related to global environmental transformation since the 15th century.


Author Biographies

Michael Warren Murphy, University of Pittsburgh

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Caitlin Schroering, University of Pittsburgh

Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology


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How to Cite

Murphy, M. W., & Schroering, C. (2020). Refiguring the Plantationocene: Racial Capitalism, World-Systems Analysis, and Global Socioecological Transformation. Journal of World-Systems Research, 26(2), 400–415.



Special Issue: World-Systems Analysis in the Anthropocene