Starting the second day off was Christine Mertens (Leiden), whose paper entitled ‘Clamoring for Control over Free Black Mobility in Virginia, 1782-1806’ shed light on the involvement of Virginia’s citizens and town officials in developing legislation targeting the movements of free Black people from the 1790s onwards.
Staying with the American South, Marcella Schute’s (Leiden) paper (title withheld) discussed how pro-slavery radicals in Louisiana in the late 1850s debated whether to reopen the transatlantic slave trade in the United States legally.
Bahar Bayraktaroğlu’s (Bonn) paper on `Dependency Between Slave Dealers and Slaves: A Case from Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Istanbul’ interrogated the concepts of agency and asymmetrical dependency by looking at the slave market and slave dealers in eighteenth-century Ottoman Istanbul.
In the last session, we heard from Camilla de Koning (Manchester) and Mary Aderonke Afolabi (Bonn). In this session, Camilla took us through her early findings and thoughts about her research project in her paper titled `Crown Engagement in Britain’s Emerging Empire, 1660-1775.’ She plans to examine the British Royal Family’s involvement in the expanding British colonial empire as individuals in her more comprehensive research project.
Mary’s paper entitled `(Re) presentations of Slavery, Servitude and Dependency in Selected Narratives of 19th Recaptured Africans’ closed off this fantastic seminar. In her paper, Mary aimed to uncover how slavery and asymmetrical dependency can be detected in texts, as opposed to actual and physical experiences of slavery.
This seminar was thus genuinely international, taking us through work focusing on comprehensive and wide-ranging geographical localities – Barbados, the Amazon, Trinidad, Britain, Virginia, Louisiana, Korea, Istanbul, and West Africa. It was interesting how all the papers, in their different aspects, incorporated the notion of agency. There was also a heightened interest in understanding formerly enslaved people and their communities by interrogating agency, asymmetrical dependency and several other aspects of their lives.