SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies


Conference programme (25-26 May)

Each presentation lasts 20 minutes. Panels consist of a set of three/four presentations followed by 30 minutes of debate.

Click to download the conference programme.


8:30 : registration opens

9:30 - 9:50

Rossi, Benedetta, ‘Rethinking Slavery in Africa'

10:00 – 12:00
PANEL 1 – Slavery and the moral order: change and continuity

Chair: Richard Fardon

  • Clarence-Smith, William, ‘Islamic Abolitionism in Sub-Saharan Africa.'
  • Klein, Martin, ‘Slave Descent and Social Status in the West African Savanna.'
  • Vuorela, Ulla, ‘Freeborn and Slaves in African Philosophy. Studying the Moral Order of a Tanzanian Village through Oral Stories.'
  • McCaskie, Thomas, ‘African-American Psychologists, the Atlantic Slave Trade and Ghana: A History of the Present'
  • [Burnham, Phil, ‘Discourses of Slavery: Change and Continuity.']

12:00 - 13:30 Lunch break

PANEL 2 – Slavery and gender

Chair: Gareth Austin

  • Brown, Carolyn, ‘From Slave to Man: Gendered Emancipation Struggles and Colonialism in Southeastern Nigeria 1922-1935.'
  • Rodet, Marie, ‘Emancipation, Migrations, and Gender in the Upper Senegal, 1899-1920.'
  • Jenkins, Julie, ‘Situating “Ritual Slavery”: Ethnographic Explorations of Trokosi in Ghana.'
  • Bouman, Annemarie, ‘Not of Their Own Free Will. Slavery versus Forced Marriage in the Kel Tamsheq Society, Burkina Faso.'

15:20 - 16:00 Tea/coffee break

16:00 – 17:30
PANEL 3 – Ideologies and practices of slavery and exploitation in the past and present

Chair: John Peel

  • Evers, Sandra, ‘”To the Manner Born”: The Perpetuation of the Ideology and Terminology of Slavery in Madagascar.'
  • Bellagamba, Alice, ‘Idioms of Bondage and Deprivation in the Socio-Cultural History of the River Gambia.'
  • Olaniyi, Rasheed, ‘Child trafficking and slavery in Nigeria: a comparative analysis of the 1930s and the 1990s.'

17:30-20:00 Reception in the Brunei Suite

9:00 – 10:50
PANEL 4 – Slavery and anti-slavery: contemporary institutions

Chair: Jan Georg Deutsch

  • Cacchioli, Romana, ‘Anti-slavery Advocacy with African Governments and Regional Institutions.'
  • Tidjani-Alou, Mahaman, ‘Towards an Anthropology of the Struggle against Slavery: the Case of Anti-Slavery NGOs in Niger'
  • Komlavi-Hahonou, Eric, ‘Reconfigurations of Slave Identity and Status in the Context of Decentralisation in Niger and Benin.'
  • Gaasholt, Ole Martin, ‘Renegotiating Slave Identity or Hanging on to It? Strategies of Social Mobility (and Immobility) in Gossi (Mali)'

10:50 – 11:20 Coffee break

11:20 – 13:10
PANEL 5 – Memory and performance

Chair: Graham Furniss

  • Argenti, Nicolas, ‘Slavery, Youth, and Masking in the Cameroon Grassfields'
  • de Jong, Ferdinand, ‘Commemorating the Slave Trade: Art, Architecture and Performance at Gorée Island'
  • Venkatachalam, Meera, ‘Slavery in the Anlo-Ewe Imagination (Ghana)'
  • King Dorset, Rodreguez, ‘Dancing as Satire: Slave Resistance in the Quadrille'

13:10 – 14:30 Lunch break

14:30 – 16:20
PANEL 6 – Negotiating slave identity (Presentations in French)

Chair: Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias

  • Hardung, Christine, ‘«We Aren't Clandestines» : Political Mobilisation and Associations of Groups of Slave Origin in Mauritania.'
  • Schmitz, Jean, ‘ The MaccuBe of the Almaami, or the promotion of ‘slaves' in Fuuta Tooro (Sénégal Valley) .'
  • Leservoisier, Olivier, ‘Contemporary Trajectories of Slavery among the haalpulaar of Mauritania: discriminations, resistances, and status renegotiations'
  • Boyer, Florence, ‘From the Ambiguity of Terminology to the Complexity of Practices: The Question of Slavery in a Tuareg Society of South-Western Niger'

16:20-17:00 Coffee/tea break

17:00 – 17:30

Lovejoy, Paul, ‘Trajectories of Slavery in Africa's Past and Present.'