In 1993, Paul Gilroy famously described the “Black Atlantic” as a “counterculture of modernity,” using an “explicitly transnational and intercultural perspective” as opposed to a nationalist or ethnically absolutist approach to the history of the African diaspora. In the two decades since he wrote those words the scholarship on the Black Atlantic has been rich, wide-ranging, and deep. This workshop will analyze and evaluate this work, assessing strengths and weaknesses and suggesting new areas for future investigation. We will discuss a variety of themes in the linked histories of Africa, Europe, and the Americas: race, class, gender, environment, and visual representation, with special emphases on history from below and the rise of capitalism.
The workshop is organized in two sites over two days.
8 November, Collège d’études mondiales, Paris (open to the public)
9 November, Nantes (closed to the public)
Welcome: Olivier Bouin, Collège d'études mondiales/FMSH
Black Atlantic I
Chair: Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh
- Robin Blackburn, University of Essex
- Tera Hunter, Princeton University
- Cécile Vidal, EHESS
- Ugo Nwokeji, Berkeley University
Black Atlantic II
Chair: Françoise Vergès, Collège d'études mondiales/FMSH
- Aline Helg, Geneva University
- Simon Gikandi, Princeton University
- Camillia Cowling, Warwick University
- Amzat Boukari-Yabara, EHESS Paris
Catherine Hall (University College-London)
“Legacies of British Slave-Ownership”
Catherine Hall will present the two projects based at UCL whose first phase took as its starting point “the named individuals who received compensation, the merchants and bankers, the rentiers and traders, the rectors and widows, to show the involvement of this universe of people in Britain's economy, society and culture and to make the evidence publicly accessible. Somewhere between 10-20% of Britain's wealthy can be identified as having had significant links to slavery.” The second looks at the structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833.