CFP-Reworking Freedom: Re-Centering the Enslaved in Histories of the Americas

Reworking Freedom : Graduate Student Workshop on Re-Centering the Enslaved in Histories of the Americas

CFP Deadline: 16 May, 2014

The workshop will be held in mid-to-late October 2014 at Columbia University.

Proposals are welcomed from a variety of disciplines. Papers are invited that discuss themes as diverse as, though not limited to, maroons, rebels, and runaways; botanical, medical, and scientific knowledge of the enslaved; relationships between enslaved Africans and indigenous Americans, indentured Indian, Chinese, and European migrants; religious practices of the enslaved; the enslaved and abolitionism; the enslaved and revolutions in the Americas. Participants are welcome to propose traditional papers, but the program is especially interested in presentations that break with traditional forms, including interdisciplinary and collaborative projects and projects that emphasize community engaged research.

Scholars have long acknowledged the centrality of slavery to the formation of modernity in the Americas. However, while the slave trade, plantation complexes, and regimes of labor have been a central focus of the scholarship, enslaved people themselves have been a more marginal presence. This day-long Graduate Student Workshop seeks to center the enslaved as historical actors and thinkers critical to the making of their own history, and to use this re-centering as the basis for re-conceptualizing critical paradigms of the field.

Additionally, the workshop hopes to critically interrogate the relationship between the study of slavery and the enslaved and our present moment, with attention to what ethical obligations our scholarship may place on us to engage in the public sphere.

Please send an abstract and short bio to Abstracts and bios must be limited to 250 words each. Acceptances will be emailed by early June.

Accepted participants should submit a final version of their papers by mid-September 2014.

If there are any questions, please contact the organizers at