deadline for submissions: 
January 8, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) Program, College of Charleston
contact email: 


In preparation for a volume of essays to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Denmark Vesey conspiracy of 1822, the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (CLAW) at the College of Charleston will hold a small conference on enslaved and free black anti-slavery, February 8-10, 2019. 

Known to scholars mainly as a conspiracy of Carolina slaves, the “Denmark Vesey Conspiracy” also ensnared free black people and should be treated as a part of the broader black anti-slavery movement. Some of the rebels were aware of the Missouri Compromise debates over slavery. They compared Carolina whites to those national leaders who they thought wanted to end slavery. Some of the rebels were aware of the Sierra Leone colony of freed slaves and probably had known free and enslaved people who emigrated there in 1821. Some were aware of revolutionary Haiti. Some were born in Africa. In the truest sense, there were African, American, and Atlantic dimensions to the 1822 rebels’ organizing. 

To observe the anniversary of 1822, we welcome proposals seeking to understand black anti-slavery in the wider Atlantic world, including but not limited to Africa, the Caribbean, and Carolina. Proposals may include but are not limited to: 

Rebellions in Africa 

Archives of rebellion 

Women in rebellions 

Information networks 

Religion and spirituality 

Empire and colonization 

The archive of antislavery 

African resistance strategies 

Cultural memory of rebellion 

Gender/sexuality and rebellion 

Rebellions & the Middle Passage 

Criminalization of antislavery activity 

Legacies of the repression of rebellions 

Rebellions against the internal slave trade 

Resistance and the internal (U.S.) slave trade 

Haiti and black anti-slavery in the Atlantic World 

Black activists and the politics of resistance to slavery 

Black antislavery and subsequent social movements (such as #BLM)… 


Charleston is an apt setting for these discussions. Nearby to Stono Creek, the namesake of one of the most significant slave rebellions in American history, Charleston was also a major entrepot for enslaved people trafficked from elsewhere in the Atlantic world. The College of Charleston was founded shortly before Vesey’s birth, and sits in the midst of the neighborhoods in which the uprising planners lived and worked. Tours will be organized as part of the conference. 

To propose a paper, send a CV and a 250 word abstract to James O’Neil Spady ( by January 8, 2018. Authors of accepted proposals will be asked to submit their completed essays by January 8, 2019. The complete essays will be distributed to conference attendees in advance, workshopped during sessions, and considered for a proposed volume marking the 200th anniversary of the Vesey Conspiracy in 2022.