GLC Newsletter, September 28

September 29, 2015

Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

Yale University, New Haven, CT


Newsletter for September 28, 2015

Hi Everyone,

See below this week’s GLC e-newsletter. For more information about our events, programs, and resources, please also visit our website at and follow us on Facebook. Feel free to pass this information along to friends and colleagues.

Best regards,

David Spatz


In this newsletter:

  1. GLC 17th Annual International Conference (10/30-31)

    • Antislavery Republics: The Politics of Abolition in the Spanish Atlantic

  2. Funding Opportunities

  • Fellowships at the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery

  • Research Fellowships at the John Carter Brown Library (2016-2017)

  1. Programs and Events

    • TODAY! Joel Quirk at the Tubman Institute (9/28)

    • Truth: Women, Creativity, and Memory of Slavery (10/5)

    • Christopher L. Brown and Rudolph Ware at the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery (10/8)

  2. In the News

  • 150 Years Later How Are We Honoring the Memory of Reconstruction? With the Worst Kind of Irony.

  • New Books Analyze the Photographs of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth



GLC 17th Annual International Conference


Antislavery Republics: The Politics of Abolition in the Spanish Atlantic

The Gilder Lehrman Center’s 17th Annual International Conference

October 30-31, 2015


Luce Hall Auditorium

34 Hillhouse Avenue

New Haven, CT

Why and how did slavery end when it did in Spanish America? Slavery expanded in leaps and bounds in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States during the same decades that the new republics of mainland Spanish America professed a commitment to the abolition of slavery and instituted gradual antislavery laws. In large part this was a result of the free and enslaved Africans’ involvement in the independence wars in places such as Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. This conference will focus on the history of slavery and anti-slavery in the nineteenth century Spanish Atlantic world and probe such hemispheric contrasts and divergences by moving beyond a national or imperial focus that has characterized abolitionist studies. Instead, it will trace the connections of mainland Spanish America with Brazil, Africa, Haiti, Britain, the Spanish Caribbean, and the United States during the nineteenth century. Speakers include:

  • Carlos Aguirre, University of Oregon      

  • George Reid Andrews, University of Pittsburgh

  • Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University

  • Alice Baumgartner, Yale University

  • Herman Bennett, City University of New York

  • Peter Blanchard,  University of Toronto

  • David W. Blight, Yale University

  • Alex Borucki, University of California-Irvine

  • Marcela Echeverri, Yale University

  • Anne Eller, Yale University

  • Roquinaldo Ferreira, Brown University

  • Ada Ferrer, New York University

  • Alejandro Gomez, Université de Lille

  • John Harris, Johns Hopkins University

  • Bayo Holsey, Rutgers University

  • Richard Huzzey, University of Liverpool

  • Rafael Marquese, University of São Paulo

  • Edward Rugemer, Yale University

  • Dale Tomich, University of Binghamton

  • Justin Wolfe, Tulane University

Registration is free but required.


Funding Opportunities


Fellowships at the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery

The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, offers two long-term fellowships to assist scholars whose research on transatlantic slavery can benefit from extended access to the Schomburg Center’s resources.  Fellows will begin residence at the Center on September 1, 2016 and end on March 1, 2017. They will receive a $30,000 stipend. Deadline:  December 1, 2015.

The Lapidus Center also offers five short-term fellowships. The Fellowship Program is open to doctoral students, post-doctoral scholars, independent researchers, and artists studying the slave trade, slavery, abolition, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World. Fellowships are awarded for continuous periods of three months at the Schomburg Center with a stipend of $6,000. Deadline: December 1, 2015.

For more information, click here 


Research Fellowships at the John Carter Brown Library (2016-2017)


The John Carter Brown Library (JCB), an independently funded institution for advanced research on the campus of Brown University, will award approximately forty residential fellowships for the year July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. The Library contains one of the world’s premier collections of primary materials related to the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the New World to 1825, including books, maps, newspapers, and other printed objects. JCB Fellowships are open to scholars and writers working on all aspects of the Americas in the early modern period.

Short-term Fellowships are for two to four months with a monthly stipend of $2,100. Open to US and foreign citizens who are engaged in pre- or post-doctoral or independent research. Graduate students must have passed their preliminary or general examinations at the time of application.

Long-Term Fellowships are for five to ten months with a monthly stipend of $4,200. These include two to four NEH Fellowships, for which an applicant must be a US citizen or have lived in the US for the three years preceding the application deadline, and other long-term JCB awards for which all nationalities are eligible. Graduate students are not eligible for long-term JCB Fellowships.

Recipients of all fellowships must relocate to Providence and be in continuous residence at the JCB for the full term of the award. Rooms are available for rent at Fiering House, the JCB’s Fellows’ residence, a beautifully restored 1869 house just four blocks from the Library.

The deadline for short- and long-term fellowships is December 1, 2015.

For more information - including information about Thematic and Cluster Fellowships - and application instructions, visit or e-mail

Read more or reply


Programs and Events


The Harriet Tubman Institute at York University in collaboration with The Institute of Comparative Law  & The Hans Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law at McGill University
Slavery Old and New: Labour Exploitation through the Ages and around the Globe
(A joint research and discussion series)
“The Fictive Coherence of Global Struggle: Combating ‘Modern-Day Slavery’ in Rhetoric and Practice”
Joel Quirk

Monday, 28th September, 2015

Stedman Lecture Hall 120E

12:30-2:00 p.m.

Abstract: Combating human trafficking has been widely presented as a cohesive and singular global cause, which builds upon the noble work of ‘modern-day abolitionists’ seeking to finally end slavery once and for all. The main argument of this paper is that this popular rhetoric of shared global struggle is both highly misleading and politically problematic. In its current incarnation, ‘the cause’ of ending human trafficking and ‘modern-day slavery’ brings together two major elements: i) an increasingly dense regime of law and policy which is universal in scope yet shallow and selective when it comes to effective application, and ii) a diverse portfolio of more substantive political interventions which tend to heavily concentrate upon specific locations and industries. These case-specific interventions often have little or no direct connection to parallel interventions taking place in other parts of the world. There may well be broad similarities in the types of abuses which occur in different contexts and countries, but a great deal of a creative aggregation and extrapolation is required in order to translate broad similarities into the language of a singular and cohesive global cause.  Once we puncture this fictive coherence, it quickly becomes clear that there is not one global anti-trafficking or anti-slavery movement, but many different movements and actors with different agendas and interests, most of which primarily focus upon specific issues and/or localised concerns.  In stark contrast to historical campaigns to end legal slavery, which were firmly aimed at the profits and privileges of the rich and powerful, most of these interventions only rarely pose a direct threat to major political and economic interests, which is ultimately a key source of their appeal. 

Joel Quirk is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand. His research focuses on slavery and abolition, human mobility and human rights, repairing historical wrongs, and history and politics of sub-Saharan Africa. Recent works include The Anti-Slavery Project  (Penn, 2011), International Orders in the Early Modern World  (Routledge, 2014, co-edited), Mobility Makes States  (Penn, 2015, co-edited), and The Invention of Contemporary Slavery  (UBC, in press, co-edited). He has also recently co-edited special issues/sections on Repairing Historical Wrongs (Social & Legal Studies, 2012),  Sampling Techniques in Johannesburg (Journal of Refugee Studies,  2012) and the Politics of Numbers (Review of International Studies,  2015).  Joel is a current member of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave   Route Project, where he serves as Rapporteur, and is also an editor for openDemocracy’s ‘Beyond Trafficking and Slavery’ ( 

Slavery Old and New is a joint research initiative which examines the legal conceptualization of labour exploitation. Through an interdisciplinary, transnational and historical methodology, this project draws on a variety of disciplines, spaces in time, and places around the world, to explore law’s understanding of “labour exploitation” and its relationship to society and practices.   


Truth: Women, Creativity, and Memory of Slavery


Monday, October 5, 2015
6:00pm – 8:00pm | Admission: FREE
Fordham School of Law | 150 West 62nd Street (Between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues) | Costantino Room, 2nd Floor | New York, NY 10023

Please join the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme and Fordham University for a moderated discussion with noted scholars and artists.

As shown by the likes of Phillis Wheatley, Celia Cruz, Nina Simone, Kara Walker, Toni Morrison, and the makers of patch quilts, women of the African diaspora have written, painted, sculpted, and lifted their songs to lament pain, express sorrow, and rejoice over their freedom from bondage.

This moderated discussion will explore the many ways enslaved women throughout the African diaspora used their artistic voice to express themselves, endure trials, and survive—and to liberate both themselves and their people. We will also examine what these incredible women can teach the contemporary world about the experiences of slavery and the emancipating power of creativity.

Fordham Sponsors:
Latin American and Latino Studies Institute
Department of African & African American Studies
School of Professional and Continuing Studies
Department of History

United Nations Sponsor:
United Nations Department of Public Information

For more information, contact Latin American and Latino Studies Institute at 212-635-6365 or

More information and RSVP:




European Powers, Islamic Movements, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade


October 8

Berger Forum, Schwarzman Building, 5th Avenue at 42nd Street

In the 18th century, Senegambia was bitterly contested for slave-trading purposes by France and Great Britain. But a third power, the Islamic theocracy of Futa Toro on the Senegal River, rose to prominence and opposed both foreign powers while seeking to put an end to the transatlantic slave trade and slavery. 

Please join Christopher L. Brown, Professor of History at Columbia  University and Rudolph Ware, Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan,  for a fascinating conversation. A book signing will follow.


This event is presented in collaboration with the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, The New York Public Library. It will take place in the Berger Forum, Schwarzman Building, 5th Avenue at 42nd Street.

Free and open to the public. Register here


In the News

150 Years Later How Are We Honoring the Memory of Reconstruction? With the Worst Kind of Irony.

History News Network

by Adam Arenson

With fanfare and trumpet calls, the Civil War sesquicentennial came to an end in April, with ceremonies marking one hundred and fifty year since the surrender of Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S Grant at Appomattox Courthouse. 

Yet the Civil War did not completely end that day—many Confederate generals took months more to be captured or surrender, and U.S. troops kept Texas and other southern states under military occupation through 1866. During the contentious Reconstruction years, Confederate soldiers fought on, in Ku Klux Klan dens in the South, as authority-defying outlaws wilding the West, and as entrepreneurs attempting to maintain their slaveholding ways in enclaves from Mexico, to Cuba to Brazil. Soldiers from both sides extended their careers by bringing total war against American Indian nations, decimating the original people of North America once again, to make room for an expanding and newly reunited United States.

The Reconstruction amendments brought a final end to slavery, the greater enforcement of civil rights through the 14th Amendment and congressional action, birthright citizenship, and the guarantee of the right to vote for every male citizen—revolutionary changes that shape our society to this day.

Read more:


New Books Analyze the Photographs of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth

By Eve M. Kahn

New York Times

Sept. 24, 2015

Two of the most famous 19th-century African-Americans, Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, commissioned formal photographs of themselves as part of their public relations strategies. Books expected out this fall reproduce virtually every known surviving portrait of them and explore their defiance of stereotypes of victimhood.

Truth, who was illiterate and born into slavery in upstate New York, shrewdly copyrighted her photos and marketed them for about 40 cents each including postage. In “Enduring Truths: Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance” (University of Chicago Press), the art historian Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, analyzes Truth’s sittings for a half-dozen photographers.

Read more:


Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of

Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

Yale University

PO Box 208206

New Haven, CT  06520-8206

Phone: 203-432-3339 ~ Fax: 203-432-6943



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