New Directions in the Study of Slavery and Capitalism
Workshop organized by Françoise Vergès, Chair Global South(s) Collège d’études mondiales, Paris (FMSH) and Professor Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh
Historians have long looked at the histories of slavery and capitalism as two separate narratives. With the rise of Atlantic, transnational, and world history, scholars are now reviving and going beyond debates that began with Eric Williams’s classic work Capitalism and Slavery (1944).
This workshop will advance the trend by bringing together scholars to discuss new work in Atlantic history on the intertwined histories of slavery and capitalism: how the Atlantic slave trade, the plantation system, and emerging wage labor combined to create new categories of race, class, and gender and a new economic system of global power.
Proceedings will be conducted in English.
10:00 - 10:30 am - Opening thoughts
Prof. Marcus Rediker and Françoise Vergés
10:30 am -12:00 noon - New Work in French Atlantic History
- Manuel Covo,
- Allan Potofsky,
- Jeanne-Marie Rossignol,
- Pierre Serna
12:00 - 1:30 pm - Lunch at FMSH
1:30 - 2:30 pm - Toward a Global Labor History
- Antonio de Almeida Mendes,
- Niklas Frykman,
- Allessandro Stanziani
- Philippe Steiner
- John Donoghue
2:30 - 4:00 pm - Capitalism and Slavery
- Edward Baptist
- Remy Herrera
- Anita Rupprecht
4:00 - 5:00 pm - Film Screening: “Ghosts of Amistad”
Ghosts of Amistad, directed by Tony Buba, is based on Marcus Rediker’s book, The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom (Penguin, 2012; Éditions du Seuil, 2015). The film chronicles a trip to Sierra Leone in 2013 to visit the home villages of the people who seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839, to interview elders about local memory of the case, and to search for the long-lost ruins of Lomboko, the slave trading factory where their cruel transatlantic voyage began. The film uses the knowledge of villagers, fishermen, and truck drivers to recover a lost history from below in the struggle against slavery. (56 minutes; subtitles in French)
5:00 - 5:30 pm - General discussion
6:00 pm - Cocktails
Manuel COVO is an assistant professor in North American and Caribbean history at the University of Warwick. He is preparing a book manuscript tentatively entitled The Entrepôt of Atlantic Revolutions: Saint-Domingue, Commercial Republicanism and the Remaking of the French Empire (1776-1804) ;
John DONOGHUE is Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago specializing in early modern Atlantic and global history. He is author of “Fire under the Ashes”: An Atlantic History of the English Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 2013) and co-editor, with Evelyn Jennings, of Building the Atlantic Empires: Unfree Labor and the State in the Political Economy of Capitalism (forthcoming, Brill, 2015).
Niklas FRYKMAN is an Assistant professor of early American and Atlantic history at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently working on his first book, The Marine Republic: Maritime Radicalism and the Revolutionary Atlantic, 1789-1805.
Allan POTOFSKY is Professor of history at the Université Paris-Diderot Paris-7, specializing in Atlantic, urban, and labor history of the eighteenth century. He has published Constructing Paris in the Age of Revolutions (NY: Palgrave, 2009, revised paperback: 2012), as well as special issues concerning the Atlantic and the Caribbean of the Journal of the History of Ideas (2007) and French History (2011). He is working on a manuscript tentatively called "Paris-on-the Atlantic (Paris Atlantique)" for Vendémiaire editions.
Marcus REDIKER is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh. He is author, most recently, of Outlaws of the Atlantic: Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail (Beacon Press, 2014; forthcoming in French by Éditions du Seuil). He is producer of Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels, a documentary about the memory of the Amistad Rebellion (1839) in contemporary Sierra Leone.
Marie-Jeanne ROSSIGNOL is a Professor of American Studies at University Paris Diderot, and the editor (with Claire Parfait) of the "Récits d'esclaves" series . A specialist of the early American Republic and the Atlantic world, she has recently published "Writing on Slavery" a special issue of the Revue du philanthrope, and she edited Couleurs, esclavages, libérations coloniales 1804-1860 in 2013 (with Bernard Gainot, Clément Thibaud et al.).
Anita RUPPRECHT teaches in the School of Humanities at the University of Brighton, UK. Her research interests focus on the history, memory and representation of transatlantic slavery, resistance and abolition. Her most recent publication is a chapter entitled, ‘From Slavery to Indenture: Scripts for Slavery’s Endings’ in Catherine Hall et. al. (eds.) Emancipation and the Remaking of the British Imperial World, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014).
Pierre SERNA is Professor, Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne Université, and director of the Institut d'Histoire de la Révolution Française. He specializes in the history of politics, ideas, and Atlantic revolutions in the eighteenth century. He is author of several books including La République des girouettes: Une anomalie politique, la France de l'extrême centre, 1789-1815 (2005). He is also editor of and contributor to Republics at war, 1776-1840: Revolution, conflicts, and geopolitics in Europe and the Atlantic World (2013). He is currently working on a political history of animals from 1770 to 1850, to be published in 2016 by Fayard, Paris.
Alessandro STANZIANI is directeur d'études (professor) at the EHESS, chair in Global history and senior researcher (directeur de recherche) at the CNRS. His latest books: Bondage, Labor and rights in Eurasia, 17th-20th centuries (New York and Oxford: Berghahn 2014); After Oriental Despotism. Eurasian Growth in Global Perspective, 17th-20th centuries (London: Bloomsbury, 2014); Seamen, Slaves and Immigrants in the Indian Ocean, 1750-1914 (New York, London: Palgrave Mc Millan, 2014).
Philippe STEINER is Professor of sociology at the University Paris-Sorbonne and senior member of the Institut universitaire de France. His recent research are devoted to organ transplantation (La transplantation d’organes, Paris, Gallimard 2010), the relation between markets and morals (Calcul et morale. Coût du travail et valeur de l’émancipation, with C. Oudin-Bastide, Paris, Albin Michel, 2015 and Marchés contestés. Quand le marché rencontre la morale, with M. Trespeuch, Toulouse, Presses universitaires du Mirail, 2015), and the history of social sciences (Durkheim and the Birth of Economics Sociology, Princeton University press, 2011).
Françoise VERGÈS holds the Chair “Global South(s)” at the Collège d’études mondiales, Fondation maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris. On slavery, she has published L’Homme prédateur. Ce que l’esclavage nous enseiegne sur notre temps (Albin Michel, 2011) and Mémoires enchaînées. Questions sur l’esclavage (Albin Michel, 2006.