Theses Master's

Reinterpretation of British-Caribbean Plantation Sites in Nevis: Redefining Nevisian Heritage Management and Descendant Community Relationships with Historic Sites

France, Kerrian

Historically, the Caribbean island of Nevis was once associated with the colonial sugarcane monoculture that dominated the physical and economic landscape. Post-emancipation, the industry briefly continued, but was in rapid decline, devaluing the formerly lucrative plantation sites. After independence in 1983 with St. Kitts, the federation focused on the tourism industry as an economic driver for development. The tourism industry perpetuated the social dynamics and hierarchies established during colonization and led to plantation sites being reused as luxury hotels and other private uses or simply abandoned. In Nevis, the tension between tourism and preservation created a political neglect of heritage sites and their potential for inclusive interpretation.

The analysis focuses on the plantation history of Nevis, the legacy of tourism and its lasting prioritization, and the development of a heritage sector post-independence. Key findings of this analysis, site documentation of over twenty plantation in Nevis, and evaluation of established best practices in the field, led to proposed recommendations for changes in heritage structure and policy, tourism policy and marketing, site surveying and documentation, heritage education and partnerships, descendant representation and engagement, and spatializing inclusive research. Illustrated by three diverse case studies, the proposals would be implemented at former plantation sites in Nevis and would serve as a precedent for other sites in the British-Caribbean.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
McEnaney, Elizabeth
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 21, 2023