Webster Leiden Campus is hosting SLAVERY PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE: 5th Global Meeting in
June 22nd,23rd, 24th 2020
Slavery (the treatment of humans as chattel) and enslavement through conquest, birth, gender, race, ethnicity, kinship, and exploitation of indebtedness have been an intrinsic part of human societies.
Slavery and a variety of other forms of exploitation existed in ancient societies across the world, and in many other states and territories. The Transatlantic Slave Trade furnished at least 10 million Africans for slavery throughout the Americas.
Controversial and contested estimates indicate that up to 40 million people worldwide are enslaved today. This modern re-emergence of slavery into public view, following legal abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade over two hundred years ago, is said to be linked to the deepening interconnectedness of countries in the global economy, overpopulation, and the economic and other vulnerabilities of individual victims and communities.
But should we think of these people as enslaved? And if so, is slavery an inevitable part of the human condition? Like ‘consumers’ of past eras, such as early industrialization, are we dependent on the exploitation of others? What does the persistence and mutations of different forms of exploitation mean in the context of abolition and recognition of universal individual and collective human rights?
The varieties of contemporary forms of exploitation appear to be endless. This interdisciplinary conference will facilitate a multidisciplinary exploration of slavery in all its dimensions.
Submissions are sought from people from all walks of life and identities, including:
We particularly encourage submissions from the Global South.
Potential themes and sub-themes include but are not limited to:
What do we mean when we talk about “slavery”
Using “slavery” to obscure other endemic forms of exploitation
Teaching and learning about historic slavery and contemporary forms of exploitation
Slaveries of the Past
Classical (Egyptian, Greco-Roman, etc.) slavery
Conquests and colonization – Aboriginal Australians, indigenous peoples of the New World, dividing and colonizing Africa and Asia
Slaveries in Europe pre-Industrialization, such as villeinage and serfdom
Trans-Atlantic Slavery and the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Depictions of slaves and slave traders in texts and art during the Abolition Period
Systems of slavery in tribal and traditional societies
WWII and post-WWII forced labor camps
Human Trafficking and other Forms of Contemporary Exploitation
Definitions - Is human trafficking “slavery”
Types of human trafficking (labor trafficking, sex trafficking, organ trafficking, etc.)
Civil society anti-trafficking activism: assessing contemporary initiatives and movements
The role of the nation state:
Can the nation state enslave? (prison labor, mandated military service, etc.)
Anti-trafficking policies and legislation
Systems and Structures of Enslavement and Subordination (historic and contemporary)
Role of slavery in national and global economies
Economic, political, legal structures – their role in enslavement and exploitation
Slavery’s impact on culture and the cultural impacts of historic slavery
Voices of the Enslaved
Slave narratives of the past and present
Descendants’ interpretation of their enslaved and/or slave-holding ancestors
Legacies of Slavery
Identifying and mapping contemporary legacies – economic, social, cultural, psychological (e.g., Post traumatic stress disorder and intergenerational trauma)
Assessment of slavery’s impact – economic, political, other
Commemorations and memorialization of enslavers and/or the enslaved
Legal regimes tacitly designed to perpetuate slavery (e.g., convict leasing)
Legal segregation or discrimination (in housing, education, banking, transportation, etc.)
Racial terror (e.g., lynching, forced removals)
Racial subordination and re-enslavement (e.g., voter disfranchisement, mass incarceration, medical apartheid)
Desecration of burial sites of the enslaved
Destruction of or denial of access to historical information
Lack of memorialization of sacred events/sacred persons/sacred sites
Transitional justice (e.g., reparations, memorialization, restitution)
Limited rights attribution and recognition for Afro-descended peoples
Capacities (and limitations) of domestic and international law in creating, implementing and challenging slavery’s legacies
Built environment (e.g., architecture, historic buildings, cityscapes, borders)
Anti-slavery Initiatives and Movements
Teaching and learning about slavery
Relationship to the global racial hierarchy
Abolitionism and law: effects and (in)effectiveness
The role of technology and multimedia
Submitting Your Proposal:
Proposals should be submitted no later than Friday, February 28, 2020 to:
The following information must be included in the body of the email:
The following information must be in the Microsoft Word file:
Please keep the following in mind:
Evaluating Your Proposal
All abstracts will be double-blind peer reviewed and you will be notified of the Organizing Committee’s decision no later than Friday, March 20, 2020. If a positive decision is made, you will be asked to promptly register online. You will be asked to submit a draft paper of no more than 2000 words by Friday, May 8, 2020.
The conference registration fee is €220.
We offer a limited number of fellowships to participants who would otherwise be foreclosed from attending. The fellowships take the form of registration deferrals.
Monday, June 22 at 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Webster Leiden Campus
Boommarkt 1, 2311 EA Leiden, Netherlands