Trans-American Crossings: Enslaved Migrations within the Americas and their impacts on slave cultures and societies

June 3, 2018 - 9:00am

The John Carter Brown Library, in conjunction with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, will hold a conference exploring enslaved migrations within the Americas on June 1-3, 2018. Over the past several decades a rich slave trade historiography has illuminated much about the infamous Middle Passage across the Atlantic, but for hundreds of thousands of African captives journeys continued upon reaching the New World. Colonial merchants (not just planters) purchased enslaved people who reached American ports from Africa, and these speculators often rerouted African captives to other colonies for profitable re-sale. Though great strides have been made in understanding the Middle Passage (and the slave trade within Africa), the story of African captives’ diaspora within the Americas is only beginning to be told. “American Crossings” invites scholars to reassess important questions about the Atlantic slave trade and the African diaspora, with a particular emphasis on how enslaved people arrived in various American locales (whether directly or indirectly from Africa) and how that shaped cultural formations, the lived experiences of the enslaved, merchants networks, and policies governing slavery. The program committee chairs are Alex Borucki (University of California, Irvine), Jennifer L. Morgan (New York University), and Gregory E. O’Malley (University of California, Santa Cruz).