SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Conference: African Trajectories of Slavery

25-26 May 2007
Centre of African Studies, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Parliament's abolition of the slave trade in British ships, the conference 'African Trajectories of Slavery' will focus on the continuing relevance of slavery in African society. In ways that varied across places and through time, slavery has been embedded in the system of production, governance, and the social organization of most African societies until the beginning of the Twentieth Century. In spite of Abolition, Emancipation, and the ongoing struggle of slave descendants and anti-slavery institutions, slavery remains alive in the memory, imagination, and experience of people. The conference will enquire into the changing meanings and functions of slavery in different African contexts; it will investigate the causes of its differential trajectories (disappearance, resilience, transformation) across countries; and set new paradigms for understanding its current articulations and socio-economic import.