Fall 2021 USS Conference issues Call for Papers.

Slavery, Reparations and Education: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond

Universities Studying Slavery 2021 Fall Symposium, October 21st-23rd, 2021, Dalhousie University and University of King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

This will be the first USS conference held outside of the United States, the direct result of Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College being the first Canadian universities to formally investigate their historical links to slavery, leading to the Report on Lord Dalhousie’s History on Slavery and Race and King’s and Slavery: A Scholarly Inquiry.

The conference presents the exciting opportunity to concretely explore the history(ies), impact(s) and legacy(ies) of slavery in Nova Scotia, Canada and the movement for reparations within the context of the Americas and the Black Atlantic. The long history of Black people in Canada has been profoundly shaped by slavery. Moreover, the special emphasis on slavery in Nova Scotia highlights not only the beginnings and roots of the Black presence and the institution and practice of slavery in Canada but the initiation and articulation of the process leading to the emergence of African Nova Scotians as a distinct people cum quasi-nation. Thus, in many ways, the African Nova Scotian experience represents a different narrative from those elaborated in previous USS conferences: one grounded in the local reality and interwoven with national, continental and global themes.

The conference encourages collaboration from scholars and activists – from the academy and the community – in order to promote dialogue, critical reflection and nuanced perspectives and a better understanding of the roles and legacies of slavery in the lives of people of African descent and their responses to addressing those roles and legacies, especially within Nova Scotia and Canada. Thus, the conference will directly engage with slavery’s complicated legacies. Among the pressing contemporary issues are reparations, reparative justice, the African Nova Scotian struggle for self-determination, anti-Black racism, discrimination and inequity within academe and battles to rename places and spaces. A key focus will be slavery’s legacy in the institutions of higher education and how the history of enslavement is manifested in the development of universities Canada and the United States. The conference will provide a venue and space for these very important conversations, discussions and debates.

The conference will be held over three days, with one day fully dedicated to the African Nova Scotian experience. The rest of the conference will explore and interweave the wider and intersecting themes and discussions, including the African Nova Scotia narrative. Conference organizers welcome papers from an array of disciplines using a variety of theoretical frameworks and methodologies. Disciplinary contributions are encouraged from, inter alia, but not limited to history, anthropology, archeology,criminology, sociology, literature, music, political science. We also encourage and welcome input and abstracts from activists, community practitioners and community. Practitioners in cultural history institutions, and the visual and performing arts, are also encouraged to submit, as non-traditional and/or alternative forms of presenting research, e.g. in videos, visual art or performances, will be supported.

In addition to individual paper proposals, participants are encouraged to submit proposals for panels. Panels can be disciplinary, multi-disciplinary or consist of academics and non-academics. Panels may consist of three to four papers/presentations addressing a coherent theme or issue. The organizing committee reserves the right to make changes in the overall configuration of panels.

Please email an abstract of the proposed paper/presentation (limit 500 words) and CV to USS2021HalifaxConference@dal.ca by March 31, 2021. Presenters will be notified by mid-May if their proposal has been selected for a panel. The conference registration will open on August 1, 2021.

Proposed Conference themes:
Slavery in the Canadian provinces; Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for the International Decade for People of African Descent; The enslavement of African Nova Scotians and its legacy of systemic racism: Health, environment, justice, education, employment etc.; Legacies of the Middle Passage; Different systems of Slavery in the Black Atlantic; Teaching Trauma; Histories of Religion and Race; Enslaved Muslims in the Americas, Perspectives on Retributive Justice; Justice/Recognition/Development; Art and Resilience; Restitution & Reparations; Canadian Universities and the Legacies of Slavery; Nova Scotia and Canada and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade/System; Lord Dalhousie Report and King’s Scholarly Inquiry on King’s and Slavery; Slavery, Race, and Higher Education in the Americas; Enslaved African Intellectuals; Environmental racism; Segregated education; Africville; African Diaspora Religions: The Case of Black Canada; Building of Black Churches in the Maritimes; Africville, Hockey, and the Coloured League; African Canadians and Sports: 1783 to Present Time; The Black Press and Higher Education; Pan Africanism in Nova Scotia and Canada: Theodore Holly, Henry Sylvester Williams, and Marcus Garvey; The Haitian Revolution and the Western Academy; The Intercolonial Dimensions of Atlantic Slavery; Women and Slavery in Canada and the African Diaspora; Enslaved Families on University Campuses; Enslaved Children and Schooling; Slavery and the Law; Punishment Regimes in Atlantic Slavery; Slavery’s Abolition; Black Abolitionists: From Nova Scotia to Argentina; Neither Slave nor Free: The Question of Emancipation Throughout the Americas; Sexualities and Slavery; Nova Scotia, the Maritimes, and the Caribbean in the Circuit of Atlantic Slavery; War, Trade, Slavery in the Atlantic World; Scotsmen and Enslaved Africans; Scottish Colonial Governors in the Circuit of Slavery; The Black Refugees and the War of 1812: Connections to Dalhousie University and King’s College; The West India Trade and the Nova Scotian Economy; The Castine Fund: Slavery and Education; Maritime Universities and the Building of Infrastructure in the Caribbean Colleges and Universities; Canada and the Confederacy; Hugo Reid, T.C. Haliburton, and Thomas McCulloch as Proslavery intellectuals; Renaming of Streets, Towns, Buildings, and Universities and Colleges; The Monumental Landscape: Rhodes Must Fall! And the Toppling of Statues; The George Floyd Effect and Education; Writing the World Anew: Inserting the Study of Slavery in the Canadian School Curriculum; History and Afro-futurism; #Black Lives Matter!