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The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition presents its fifth international conference:

Collective Degradation: Slavery and the Construction of Race

November 7-8, 2003
Luce Hall, Yale University


While scholars have largely accepted the view that race is a socially-constructed concept, the complex processes of its formation are not well understood — in large part because of the wide and diverse range of contributing factors. The fifth international conference of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition will explore the relationship between the enslavement of Africans and the construction of early and modern conceptions of race and racial hierarchies. The conference will bring together scholars of Graeco-Roman and Biblical antiquity, medieval Europe and early Islam, with authorities on Enlightenment, 19th- and early 20th-century European and American racial thought, with the goal of exchanging and combining insights from a wide range of historical periods and disciplines.

The schedule for the conference is as follows:


9:00-11:45 Session 1:

Benjamin Isaac, Tel Aviv University: Slavery and Proto-racism in Graeco-Roman Antiquity
David Goldenberg, University of Pennsylvania: Early Christian & Jewish Views of Blacks
Comment: James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College

12:45-3:30 Session 2:

Benjamin Braude, Boston College: Ham and Noah: Sexuality, Servitudinism, and Ethnicity
Peter Biller, University of York, U.K.: The "Black" in Medieval European Scientific Discussions of Regions & Peoples
Comment: Matthew Jacobson, Yale University

3:30-6:00 Session 3:

John Hunwick, Northwestern University: Medieval and Later Arab Views of Blacks
James Sweet, Florida International University: Africans in the Iberian World
Comment: Barbara Fields, Columbia University


8:00-10:45 Session 4:

Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University: Why White People Are Called "Caucasian"
George Fredrickson, Stanford University: Race & Ethnicity in the U.S. and France
Comment: Clarence Walker, University of California, Davis

10:45-1:15 Session 5:

Patrick J. Rael, Bowdoin College: Black Responses to Scientific Racism in the Antebellum North
Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester: Racism Without Slavery and Slavery Without Racism in the Mainland North America
Comment: Jennifer Baszile, Yale University

2:00-4:30 Session 6:

Lacy K. Ford, University of South Carolina: Slavery and Racist Thought in the American South, 1789-1865
John Stauffer, Harvard University: White Abolitionists and Antebellum Racism
Comment: Kariann Yokota, Yale University

4:45-5:30 Summation:

Tom Holt, University of Chicago