Neo-slave Narratives 16th and 17th June 2022

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
University of Greenwich
contact email: 

Call for Papers

 Call for Conference Papers

‘Neo-slave Narratives’

Hosted by University of Greenwich, at its Maritime Campus, and Co-organised by the University of Greenwich and the University of Liverpool

 16th and 17th June 2022

 The original African American and Caribbean slave narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (for example, those by Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass) have been revisited in the twentieth and twenty first century neo-slave narrative genre that includes works of poetry, prose, drama, film and art. Neo-slave narratives exist in many forms, including the historical novel, science fiction, memoir, and the gothic. The conference aims to identify the political, historical, and aesthetic origins of slave narratives whilst also considering how neo-slave narratives re-imagine the slave narrative tradition, its tropes and its form. At the end of her own seminal neo-slave narrative Beloved (1987), Toni Morrison writes of how the history of slavery “is not a story to pass on”, famously ambivalent words that invite us to consider why the slave narrative continues to be passed on, told in ever more diverse and imaginative forms of remembrance.

 Proposals on any aspect of neo-slave narratives, as well as the following points are welcome:

  • the significance of slavery for eighteenth-century capital accumulation
  • slave narratives as central to eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century abolitionist discourse
  • slave and neo-slave narratives as exemplars of a counter-discourse to ideologies supporting racial capitalism
  • neo-slave narratives as transnational, global, black Atlantic texts
  • the way in which the trauma of slavery, obscured by the original slave narrators, returns in neo-narratives as the repressed, and repeated as individual and collective re-memory
  • the way in which slavery is re-articulated in language that is itself the legacy of slavery
  • the significance of neo-slave narratives for continued revisions of racial identities
  • neo-slave narratives as critiques of conventional historical accounts
  • the consideration of language acquisition within the context of enforced displacement
  • articulations of modern-day slaveries

 Abstracts of2-300 words, accompanied by 100 words of biography, for 30 minute papers (including questions) to be sent to conference organisers: and by 28th February 2022.