Slavery and Global Public History: New Challenges
Slavery and Public History: New Challenges
December 1 - December 3, 2016
Brown University, Providence, RI
In 2006 Brown University and the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University hosted an international symposium on slavery and public history. Since that conference the field has grown exponentially. Within this context the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice reconvene to address this question anew. We do so in a global environment of an intensive quest for understanding the history and memory of slavery and its continuing afterlives. Over the past two decades, museums, historic sites, new and old, public and private, across the globe have wrestled with interpreting slavery and its legacies.
The legacies of slavery remain one of the world's most vexing challenges. The work of popular memory has forced redefinitions of race, nation, citizenship, community, and belonging. How do we confront the past, as nations, cultures, and individuals? When that past is deeply implicated within the structures of the present what kind of work does history and memory do?
This three-day conference will examine the proliferation of slavery-related museums, exhibitions, and public intellectual challenges across the world. Speakers will include major scholars, curators, university and public officials, as well as public historians who work at the local grassroots grappling with problems of representation, memory, and meaning. The conference will pay special attention to these questions as central to the challenges of understanding slavery and its global public history.
This conference is co-sponsored by the The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture; The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University; and The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University; with generous support from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage.
Image Credit: Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University