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Abolition, Past and Present:
Scholars, Activists, and the Challenge of Contemporary Slavery

Gilder Lehrman Center's 14th Annual International Conference
November 8-10, 2012

Thursday, November 8, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street, Room 102
Friday and Saturday, November 9-10, Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut



Participant Biographies

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8
Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High Street, Room 102

7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Slavery, Past and Present: A Public Conversation
  • Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U. S. State Department
  • James Brewer Stewart, James Wallace Professor of History Emeritus, Macalester College, and Founder and Director, Historians Against Slavery
  • Moderator: David Blight, Director, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9
Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Coffee and Registration
9:00 - 9:15 a.m.Welcome Remarks
  • David W. Blight, Director, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University
9:15 - 10:45 a.m. Keynote Address: "Global Slavery: Past, Present, and Future"
  • Siddharth Kara, Fellow on Human Trafficking, Harvard Kennedy School; Fellow on Forced Labor, Harvard School of Public Health
10:45 - 11:00 a.m.Coffee Break
11:00 - 1:00 p.m.Defining Slavery
How do individuals, organizations, and states define slavery in a modern world technically free of slavery? Leading scholars discuss the terrain upon which debates about modern slavery and human trafficking take place, and the frameworks that define policy, legality and research.
  • Joel Quirk, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, author of The Anti-Slavery Project: From the Slave Trade to Human Trafficking
Respondents:
  • Jenny Martinez, Professor of Law and Warren Christopher Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy , Stanford Law School
  • Louise Shelley, University Professor, School of Public Policy and Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, George Mason University
  • Moderator: David Blight, Director, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.Lunch and Breakout Sessions
2:30 - 4:30 p.m.Using History: The Deep Roots of Modern Day Slavery
How might scholars and activists connect to past struggles to expose and eradicate modern day slavery and trafficking? Historians will discuss 18th and 19th Century analogs and their relationships to contemporary slavery and abolition, as well as "white slavery" and the emphasis on human rights in the 20th Century.
  • Samuel Moyn, Professor of History, Columbia University
  • Jessica Pliley, Assistant Professor of History, Texas State University, Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery Fellow, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University
  • David Richardson, Former Director, Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) and Professor of History, University of Hull
  • Seymour Drescher, Distinguished University Professor of History and Sociology, University of Pittsburgh
  • Moderator: David Blight, Director, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University
4:30 - 4:45 p.m.Coffee Break
4:45 - 7:00 p.m.Screening of Not My Life, a film by Robert Bilheimer
Discussion with Robert Bilheimer

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10
Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.Coffee and Registration
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.Slave Narratives: Past and Present
A long tradition of slave narratives has exposed -- and continues to expose -- the horrors of slavery, and invigorate and mobilize emancipation movements. Authors of former slave memoirs have always affirmed life and freedom -- of mind and body -- even as they explore slavery's potential power to destroy life. Scholars and former slaves discuss the construction and use of slave narratives in US history and in contemporary society to raise awareness, inspire activism, and create policy.
  • David Blight, Director, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University
  • Zoe Trodd, Professor and Chair of American Literature, Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham
  • Jean-Robert Cadet, Former Slave and Founding Director, Jean R. Cadet Restavek Organization
  • Alicia Peters, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of New England
  • Moderator: Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., Founder and President, Frederick Douglass Family Foundation
11:30 - 1:00 p.m.Lunch and Breakout Sessions
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.Abolitionism Today: The Present and Future of Activism
Individuals, states, and non-governmental organizations have taken up the fight to end modern slavery, but the magnitude of the problem and various forms it takes require significant resources and commitment, as well as a broad range of tactics. Activists discuss methods and challenges to combating modern day slavery.
  • Brad Myles, Executive Director and CEO, Polaris Project
  • Aidan McQuade, Director, Anti-Slavery International
  • Pamela Shifman, Director, Initiatives for Girls and Women, NoVo Foundation
  • Claude d'Estrée, Director, International Human Rights Program and Human Trafficking Clinic, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
  • Moderator: Stacey Robertson, Oglesby Endowed Professor of American Heritage, Bradley University
3:00 - 3:15 p.m.Coffee Break
3:15 - 4:45 p.m.Concluding Roundtable
Writers and historians assess how to best find the interconnections between past and present, historical knowledge and the current abolition movement.
  • James Brewer Stewart, James Wallace Professor of History Emeritus, Macalester College, and Founder and Director, Historians Against Slavery
  • E. Benjamin Skinner, Senior Fellow, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University
  • Kerry Ward, Co-director, Rice Seminar on "Human Trafficking Past and Present", Humanities Research Center, Rice University
  • Kevin Bales, Co-Founder of Free The Slaves; Professor of Contemporary Slavery at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE), University of Hull
  • Moderator: David Blight, Director, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University


Illustration Credit: Picking Cotton, U.S. South, 1873-74; Image Reference NW0072, as shown on www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.
Photographic Credit: Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.


Sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. Co-sponsored by Alliance To End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST), A Project Of Humanity United.