Conference | Workshop
Urban Slavery in the Age of Abolition, ca. 1770-1930
- 22 June 2017 - 23 June 2017
- Johan Huizinga Building
2311 VL Leiden
- Conference Room (2.60)
Slave societies in the Atlantic world were highly urbanized. Despite this basic fact historians have long been exclusively interested in plantation slavery. Urban slavery and the position of freedmen are finally gaining the interest of slavery scholars globally.
This workshop raises the level of the conversation on urban slavery by taking on the complex process of abolition and connecting and comparing it across geographies. At the abolition of slavery we see that many former slaves were drawn to urban centers. It stands to reason that the way slavery worked in these urban spaces was important in determining the legacy of abolition (and with that, slavery).
The workshop gathers scholars of slavery from across Atlantic world, including various Caribbean islands, the West-African coast, South America and the United States. The result is a geographically inclusive answer to the following questions:
1) What did urban slavery entail in this period?
2) What changed when Abolition appeared on the agenda?
3) What was the legacy of Abolition in urban environments?
Invited scholars will explore the following aspects of urban slavery in the age of abolition:
- policies regarding domination and control
- legal status and access to arbitration
- land ownership, housing and segregation
- urban identities (including religion and racialization)
- family life and kinship
- manumission and emancipation
- urban economy and urban occupational structure
- connections beyond the city (migration, marriages, landownership, trade).
If you would like to attend the workshop or you have any questions, please contact Karwan Fatah-Black.
Day 1, June 22
8:30 Welcome with coffee / tea
Karwan Fatah-Black, Word of welcome and introduction
Wim Klooster, Comparative Perspectives on the Urban Black Atlantic on the Eve of Abolition
10:00-12:00 End of the slave trade
Trevor Burnard, Urban Slavery in Kingston Before and After the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1770-1815
Mariana Candido, Urban Slavery in the Age of Abolition: The Case of Benguela
13:00-14:00 North America
Jared Hardesty, A Disappearing Act: The Legacy of Abolition in Boston
Viola Müller, “To make them orderly, industrious, and productive”: Slave Refugees, Free Blacks, and Urban Slavery in Baltimore, 1800-1860
14:00-16:00 Law courts & urban space
Rebecca R. Scott and Carlos Venegas, Adjudicating Status in a Time of Slavery: Luisa Coleta and the Capuchin Friar (Havana 1817)
Marion Pluskota, Prosecuting Criminal Citizens: Penal Code, Urban Centers and Abolition of Slavery in the French Caribbean.
16:00-17:00 Traces of Slavery, Leiden walking tour
Day 2, June 23
9:00-11:00 Non-black captives
Yacine Daddi Adoun, Slavery in Algiers: The case of the Portuguese Captives in the Early Nineteenth Century
Christine Sears, “Individuals of Different Nations”: Urban Enslavement and Identities in Algiers
11:00-13:00 Paths through slavery
Nadine Marchena Kean, Savanne, DWI: A Pathway to Freedom on the Island of St. Thomas
Mariana Dantas and Douglas Libby, Families, manumission, and freed people in Minas Gerais in the era of Atlantic Abolitionism
13:00-13:30 Lunch break
13:30-15:00 Remembering slavery
Michael Zeuske, "Matanzas as Center of the "Cuba grande" and the urbanization of the plantation plain from Jovellanos (Bemba) to Colón"
Samuel North, Remembering slavery in urban Cape Town: emancipation or continuity?
15:00-16:00 Closing session
Diana Paton, Closing remarks