Home > 2017 Conference ~ October 7-8, 2017

Historians Against Slavery Biennial Conference 2017

October 7-8, 10am-4.30pm
International Slavery Museum, Liverpool

Click Here to Register Online: https://www.has2017.eventbrite.co.uk

Program & Abstracts Print Friendly Program (PDF)

This year, Historians Against Slavery (HAS) is holding its biennial conference outside of the United States for the first time, at the International Slavery Museum (ISM) in Liverpool. The two-day conference is part of a series of events during the 10th Anniversary of the ISM and also marks UK Black History Month 2017. It is co-hosted by HAS, the ISM, the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (University of Liverpool) and the Antislavery Usable Past project (ASUP, Universities of Nottingham and Hull).

Connecting past with present, we will deepen dialogue and collaboration between scholars, teachers, activists and community representatives, and build coalitions for antislavery scholarship and activism. We bring together a distinguished body of leading scholars, museum professionals and antislavery activists from around the world, reflecting on cutting-edge scholarship and debating practical examples of how history can inform contemporary efforts to end the enslavement of 46 million people worldwide.

Registration for the conference is free and includes lunch on both days. Conference attendees are responsible for transportation, lodging and evening meals.


Program Overview




From 9am: coffee and registration

10-10.30am: Welcome Addresses

Stacey Robertson (Historians Against Slavery)

Richard Benjamin (The International Slavery Museum and the Centre for the Study of International Slavery)

10.30-11.45am: Panel 1

The Antislavery Usable Past (chair: Matthew Mason, HAS)

Jean Pfaelzer, “Pacific Slaveries and the Long History of Human Trafficking”

Bharat Malkani, “The Abolitionist Legacy for Death Penalty Activism”

Maeve Ryan, “Towards a ‘Grand Strategy’ of Modern Antislavery”

11.45am-12pm: break

12-1.30pm: Panel 2

Learning and Teaching the History of Slavery (chair: Stacey Robertson, HAS)

Johnnie Maberry and Stephen Rozman, “How to Teach and Study Modern Slavery at a Historically Black College”

Catherine Armstrong, “The Lecturer’s Perspective on Teaching Slavery”

Robert Fieldsend, “The Teacher’s Perspective on Teaching Slavery”

Francesca Hannay, “The Student’s Perspective on Learning about Slavery”

1.30-2.15pm: lunch

2.15-3.30pm: Panel 3

Abolitionist Motives (chair: Minh Dang, University of Nottingham)

Michael Rota, “The Psychology of Moral Judgment and the Abolition of Slavery”

Kristofer Allerfeldt, “Marcus Braun and the History and Politics of Abolition”

Andrea Nicholson (University of Nottingham), “Placing Slave Narratives at the Heart of Modern Antislavery Policy”

3.30-3:45pm: break

3.45-5.00pm: Panel 4

Slaveholding Then and Now (chair: Michael Landis, HAS)

Talitha LeFlouria, “Race, Gender, and Mass Incarceration in the New South”

Elizabeth Swanson, “Denial and Indifference in Historical Proslavery and Contemporary Rhetoric”

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, “What Slaveholders Think”

5.00-5.30pm: break

5.30-7pm: Conference Keynote

John Stauffer, “History is the Activist’s Muse”



9.30-10.45am: Panel 5

Recovering ‘Disrupted Histories’ (chair: Olivette Otele, HAS)

Jean Hebrard, “Rosalie, Freedom, Law and Dignity in the Era of the Haitian Revolution”

Martha S. Jones, “The Celia Project, Slavery and Memory”

Myriam Cottias, “The Memory of Slavery in France, from National Silence and Local Identities to Reparations”

10.45-11am: break

11am-12.15pm: Panel 6

Dark Heritage and the Slavery Archive (chair: Talitha LeFlouria, HAS)

Charles Forsdick, “On the Emergence of a Dark Tourism Field”

Wendy Asquith, “Dark Heritage Intersectionality and the Overlapping Histories of Enslavement and Incarceration”

Katie Donington, “Slavery, Memory and Representation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”

12.15-1.30pm: Conference Keynote

Jean-Francois Manicom (International Slavery Museum), “Curating Slavery in the Caribbean and Europe: Challenges, Aims and Perspectives”

1.30-2.15pm: lunch

2.15-3.30pm: Panel 7

Remembering 1807 (chair: Johnnie Maberry, Tougaloo College)

John Oldfield, “1807-2007 in Historical Perspective”

Mary Wills, “Archiving Commemorative Activity”

Jessica Moody, “Commemorating Abolition, 1907-2007”

3.30-3.45pm: break

3.45-5pm: Plenary Conversation

The International Slavery Museum at 10 Years (chair: John Oldfield, ASUP)

With Richard Benjamin, Alex Balch, and Olivette Otele


About the Organizers

Historians Against Slavery is a community of scholar-activists who contribute research and historical context to today’s antislavery movement, in order to inspire and inform activism and to develop collaborations that empower such efforts. Based in the US with an 800-strong membership, it launched a UK chapter in 2016.

The International Slavery Museum opened in August 2007 during the bicentenary of the abolition of the British slave trade. By 2016 it had welcomed nearly 4 million visitors. It is the only museum of its kind to look at aspects of historical and contemporary slavery as well as being an international hub for resources on human rights issues. It is located in Liverpool’s Albert Dock, at the centre of a World Heritage site and only yards away from the dry docks where 18th-century slave trading ships were repaired and fitted out.

The Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) was founded in 2006 by National Museums Liverpool and the University of Liverpool to collaborate with international and local communities of scholars researching slavery, abolition and their legacies ahead of the opening of the International Slavery Museum on 23 August 2007. It supports and shares leading research about human enslavement and its legacies, and works together with other universities and organisations to develop scholarly and public activities related to slavery in its historical and contemporary manifestations.

The Antislavery Usable Past is a five-year AHRC-funded project based at the University of Nottingham and at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (University of Hull). It translates the lessons of historic abolitionism for contemporary use – providing today’s antislavery movement with a usable past of examples and methods. Its partners include Historians Against Slavery and the International Slavery Museum.


2017 Conference Committee

  • Alex Balch (director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, University of Liverpool)
  • Matthew Mason (co-director of Historians Against Slavery, Brigham Young University)
  • John Oldfield (director of the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, Co-Investigator with the Antislavery Usable Past, University of Hull)
  • Olivette Otele (HAS-UK committee member, Bath Spa University)
  • Timo Schrader (PhD student and research associate with the Antislavery Usable Past)
  • Zoe Trodd (Co-Investigator with the Antislavery Usable Past, HAS board member, University of Nottingham)
  • Mary Wills (postdoctoral fellow with the Antislavery Usable Past, University of Hull)