Slavery (the treatment of humans as chattel) and enslavement through conquest, birth, gender, race, ethnicity, kinship, and exploitation of indebtedness have been an intrinsic part of human societies.
Slavery and a variety of other forms of exploitation existed in ancient societies across the world, and in many other states and territories. The Transatlantic Slave Trade furnished at least 10 million Africans for slavery throughout the Americas.
Controversial and contested estimates indicate that up to 40 million people worldwide are enslaved today. This modern re-emergence of slavery into public view, following legal abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade over two hundred years ago, is said to be linked to the deepening interconnectedness of countries in the global economy, overpopulation, and the economic and other vulnerabilities of individual victims and communities.
But should we think of these people as enslaved? And if so, is slavery an inevitable part of the human condition? Like ‘consumers’ of past eras, such as early industrialization, are we dependent on the exploitation of others? What does the persistence and mutations of different forms of exploitation mean in the context of abolition and recognition of universal individual and collective human rights?
The varieties of contemporary forms of exploitation appear to be endless. This interdisciplinary conference will facilitate a multidisciplinary exploration of slavery in all its dimensions.
In keeping with previous meetings, the format of the Slavery Past, Present and Future Conference this year will be plenary. We intend to hold the meetings for part of the day only [EST] to avoid Zoom fatigue and expect those who register to attend all the sessions in order to facilitate a genuine cross-fertilization of ideas across identities, disciplines, and subject areas.
Submissions are sought from people from all walks of life and identities, including:
- Academics: from all disciplines, such as art, film, anthropology, sociology, history, ethnic studies, politics, social work, economics, and any field that touches the study of exploitation
- Civil society members: human rights activists, leaders in non-governmental organizations, and others in the NGO or social advocacy fields
- Professionals: social workers, corporate social responsibility and business ethics professionals, business leaders, and health care professionals
- Government actors: representatives, policymakers, lobbyists, and analysts
- Global citizens with personal connections to slavery or exploitation: former enslaved persons or indentured laborers, members of at-risk populations, migrant or guest workers, non-regularized immigrants, and refugees
We particularly encourage submissions from the Global South.
Potential themes and sub-themes include but are not limited to:
- Defining Slavery
- Slaveries of the Past
- Human Trafficking and other Forms of Contemporary Exploitation
- Systems and Structures of Enslavement and Subordination (historic and contemporary)
- Voices of the Enslaved
- Legacies of Slavery
- Anti-slavery Initiatives and Movements
- Covid-19 and slavery
Submitting Your Proposal:
Please use this form linked below to submit your proposal. The form gathers a small amount of contact info and then allows for a file upload of your proposal, which should be in a Word.doc or docx.
Submission Link: https://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/machform/view.php?id=278507
The following information will be asked on the form:
- Affiliation as you would like it to appear in the conference program
- Author(s) as you would like listed in the conference program
- Main author/submitter’s email address
Proposal Upload File Format: Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX) The following information must be in the Microsoft Word file:
- Title of proposal
- Body of proposal (maximum of 300 words)
- Keywords (maximum of ten)
Please keep the following in mind:
- All text must be in Times New Roman 12.
- No footnotes or special formatting (bold, underline, or italicization) must be used.
- By sending an abstract you are committing yourself to attend all the sessions in order to engage fully in the emerging debates.
Proposals should be submitted no later than Monday, March 15, 2021.
Evaluating Your Proposal
All abstracts will be double-blind peer reviewed and you will be notified of the Steering Committee’s decision no later than Thursday, April 15, 2021. If a positive decision is made, you will be asked to promptly register online. You will be asked to submit a draft paper of no more than 2000 words by Friday, July 2, 2021.
The conference registration fee is $50.
We offer a limited number of fellowships to participants who would otherwise be foreclosed from attending. The fellowships take the form of registration deferrals.
- Karen E. Bravo (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, IN, USA)
- David Bulla (Augusta University, GA, USA)
- Ursula Doyle (Northern Kentucky University School of Law, KY, USA)
- Judith Onwubiko (University of Kent, United Kingdom)
- Ulrich Pallua (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
- Sheetal Shah (Webster University, Leiden, The Netherlands)
- Judith Spicksley (University of Hull, United Kingdom)