CALL FOR PAPERS: After ‘Emancipation’: The legacies, afterlives and continuation of slavery.

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Institute for the Study of Slavery

After ‘Emancipation’: The legacies, afterlives and continuation of slavery.

University of Nottingham, 21-23 June 2020.

The University of Nottingham’s Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS) is a multidisciplinary centre which pursues research on both historical and contemporary slavery and forced labour in all parts of the globe and through all periods.

Throughout slavery’s long history, from the ancient world through to the present, there have been numerous moments of individual, group and political ‘emancipations’ and abolitions. These might have occurred via formal abolition, manumission, through enslaved people running away, or through rebellions and revolts. Yet today, despite living in a world which is internationally legally post-slavery, millions of people continue to be exploited under modern slavery.

Within this climate, this conference looks to explore what emancipation meant to the formerly enslaved (whether legally chattels or otherwise), and what that ‘freedom’ might have looked like.  Emancipation here might mean formal abolition of slavery, manumission, rebellions, running away or escaping.

We might also consider ‘afterlives’ in a wider sense. At present, many institutions, including universities, are considering the varied ways in which they have benefitted, financially and otherwise, from Transatlantic Slavery. There are also debates about the renaming of statues and monuments of those linked to this history or gaps in the presentation of histories of the enslaved and what these mean to descendants of the formerly enslaved.

Therefore, we welcome proposals for 20-minute conference papers, thematic panels of three papers which cross chronological eras, or poster presentations on any chronological or geographical area and from any disciplinary perspective. We particularly welcome papers which explore these ideas beyond the Anglo-American Atlantic Sphere. 

Suggested areas might include (but are not restricted to):

  • Experiences of freedom after emancipation: building new lives and utilising skills.
  • The continuation of enslavement or forced labour (indentured, debt bondage) after abolition.
  • The enduring lived human legacies for descendant groups.
  • How are/ should the impact and legacies of historical slavery be addressed?


Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to by the deadline of Friday 1st November 2019. Decisions will be announced in December 2019.

We aim to gain funding to be able to cover some Postgraduate travel costs.