SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

History from Below after the Transnational Turn: The Case of a Forgotten 18th-century Revolutionary

Marcus Rediker

Date: 24 October 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 24 October 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Seminar

This lecture will survey the theory, methods, and scholarship of “history from below” after the recent move in many disciplines toward a global frame of analysis. The talk reconstructs the largely forgotten life history of Benjamin Lay (1682-1759), a Quaker dwarf who worked around the Atlantic as a shepherd, a sailor, a glover, and a commoner and became one of the first to demand the total and unconditional emancipation of enslaved Africans worldwide.

Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh and Senior Research Fellow at the Collège d’études mondiales in Paris. His books have won numerous awards and been translated into fifteen languages. They include (with Peter Linebaugh) The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Verso, 2000) and The Slave Ship: A Human History (John Murray, 2007). His most recent book is The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Verso, 2017). He is also the producer of the prize-winning documentary film Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels (Tony Buba, director), about the popular memory of the 1839 Amistad rebellion in contemporary Sierra Leone. He is currently working as Guest Curator in the JMW Turner gallery at Tate Britain.

Organiser: Feyzi Ismail

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