Bondage: The Legacy of Blackness, 400 Years A Slave

deadline for submissions: 
August 21, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Department of Humanities at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy
contact email: 

Over a period of about four centuries, many millions of Africans were shipped to the Americas and forced into slavery. Slavery developed in the colonial period, emerged in the age of the American Revolution, and expanded widely in the antebellum South, reaching its heyday between 1830 and 1860.

As a way to mark the history of African American people and their subjugation to slavery in the Americas, the Department of Humanities at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in collaboration with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, welcomes proposals for presentations on the general conference theme: Bondage: The Legacy of Blackness, 400 Years A Slave. We invite proposals from academics in all areas of literature, language, film, composition, pedagogy, and creative, professional, and technical writing. We are especially interested in diverse and innovative presentations that examines the concept of bondage between and among texts, disciplines, people, cultures, media, languages, and generations.

As we consider the conference theme of “bondage,” academics alike are encouraged to probe, among other interests, 1) the thematic and/or theoretical bondages that link texts across time and across the diaspora, 2) the ideological underpinnings of bondage as they relate to African-American cultural movements such as the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement, 3) the transatlantic understanding of bondage connecting, for instance, African-American literature with that of European modernism, as well as 4) an interdisciplinary understanding of the idea of “bondage” that engages English, sociology, LGBTQ studies, Women and Gender Studies, psychology, or political science and that inform our understanding of African-American texts and their overall representation of the African-American condition. Additional areas of consideration include:

  • bondage and the conditions of antebellum slavery in the United States (slaves as chattel; status as property was enforced by violence -- actual or threatened)
  • bondage and the conditions of postbellum slavery in the United States (debt peonage, sharecropping, crop lien system)
  • bondage and slave narratives
  • bondage and chain gangs
  • bondage in a global context, especially as modern slavery (sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, domestic servitude, etc.)
  • bondage as (forced) child labor
  • bondage as the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers
  • bondage as a sexual practice that involves physically restraining (by cords or handcuffs) one of the partners
  • bondage as a performative space

SUBMISSION AND REGISTRATION:

Upload your payment, a 250-300 word abstract, and the title of your paper to www.maritime.edu/bondage by Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The registration fee for scholars and faculty prior to this deadline is $100; afterwards the fee increases to $110. The flat rate for students at all levels is $60.

DATES:

Day 1, Saturday, October 5 – New Bedford Whaling Museum

  • Registration: 12 Noon – 12:30pm
  • Keynote: 12:30pm – 1:30pm, Dr. Akeia Benard

Dr. Akeia Benard is the Curator of Social History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum where she is responsible for curation of exhibitions, installation of exhibitions, historical research related to exhibitions, publications, lectures, symposia, collections guides, and interpretive public programs and public outreach.   She has a strong background in African American and Native American ethnohistory and archaeology in New England and the Caribbean. She has documented African American histories, landscape development, and Rastafarian and indigenous worldviews. Before coming to the museum in August of 2017, she taught for nine years as an assistant professor in the Departments of Psychology and Human Development, American Studies and Political Science at Wheelock College in Boston. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Salve Regina University, along with a Master of Arts and Doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut.  Dr. Benard’s interests and projects have included the early African-American community in Newport, RI, Rastafarian culture in the US Virgin Islands, cultural landscapes, community-inclusive archaeology and oral histories, Native American contact-period adaptations, media imagery and black women’s bodies.  Throughout her career, Dr. Benard has worked to establish and steward relevant and impactful community cultural partnerships.

  • Coffee Break: 1:30pm – 1:45pm
  • Panel: 1:45pm – 3pm

Day 2, Sunday, October 6 – Massachusetts Maritime Academy

  • Panel 1: 12 Noon – 1:15pm
  • Break: 1:15pm – 1:30pm
  • Panel 2: 1:30pm – 2:45pm
  • Break: 2:45pm – 3pm
  • Dinner: TBA

HOTELS:

Towne Place Suites by Marriot

50 Rosebrook Place

Wareham, MA 02571

(508) 291-1800

Located in Wareham, MA the Gateway to Cape Cod, the Towne Place Suites by Marriott Wareham is minutes from Cape Cod, Plymouth, New Bedford, Boston, Providence, and the quaint villages of Onset, Buzzards Bay, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, and Carver. Offering free WIFI internet, complimentary breakfast buffet & spacious guest suites, indoor swimming pool & 24 hr. fitness center, “In a Pinch” market and 24 hr. coffee service, our hotel offers exceptional value & convenience for both the leisure and business traveler. 

When making reservations, ask for the Mass Maritime rate (roughly $114/night). Online code: S2723

Atlantic Motel

7 Depot Street

East Wareham, MA 02538

(508) 295-0210

The Atlantic Motel within 2 miles of Onset Beach. The motel offers a microwave, refrigerator and free Wi-Fi in every guest room. The Atlantic Motel features a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. Free coffee is available in the morning in the office. Every guest room at the Atlantic is equipped with a 25-inch cable TV and a telephone with speakerphone and dataport. A hair dryer and ironing facilities. Water Wizz water park is one mile from the Atlantic Motel in East Wareham. Bay Pointe Country Club is within a 5-minute drive of the motel.

Average rate: $90-$140

CONTACT INFO:

Anton L. Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Humanities

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

101 Academy Drive

Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

(508) 830-5000, ext. 2279

asmith@maritime.edu