Uniting the Histories of Slavery in North America

Short Seminar

October 12–13, 2012

Uniting the Histories of Slavery in North AmericaUniting the Histories of Slavery in North AmericaShort Seminar Co-chaired by James F. Brooks, President and CEO, School for Advanced Research and Bonnie Martin, Research Associate, Department of History, Southern Methodist University, October 12–13, 2012.Uniting the Histories of Slavery in North AmericaShort Seminar Co-chaired by James F. Brooks, President and CEO, School for Advanced Research and Bonnie Martin, Research Associate, Department of History, Southern Methodist University, October 12–13, 2012.

Until the first decade of this century, the story of slavery in North America carried us to people and places largely east of the Mississippi River. Since 2000, an array of local and regional studies alerted us to new forms of bondage—in the past and today—and these stories take us beyond the east, to the trans-Mississippi West and the U.S./Mexico borderlands. Such studies on past slavery and contemporary human trafficking can deepen our understanding of each. For example, the research highlights similarities and differences between Indian slavery and African slavery. It raises questions about coerced labor in Spanish Cuba and among the Yankee entrepreneurs in the Pacific. It pushes us to compare the debates over chattel slavery in 19th-century Mexico with the controversy over legalized prostitution in certain Nevada counties today.

To that end, this symposium brought together specialists in history, anthropology, folklore, and psychology. Each of the contributors study slavery as it was—or as it continues—on both sides of the Mississippi River or in North American border zones.  The short seminar for paper contributors took place from October 12–13, 2012 at The School of Advanced Research, and was followed in the spring on April 6, 2013 by a public symposium at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

The focus for the seminarians going forward after their time at SAR was to “involve further revisions to the drafts to ensure consistent and in depth interpretation and analysis to build on the excellent primary source data exposition and to finalize a smooth, informative flow of essays that literally and figuratively speak to each other,” wrote co-chair, Bonnie Martin, in her report. She continued, “The latter, the conversation across time, space, and especially disciplines, is the heart of the project…”

James F. Brooks, Chair President and CEO, School for Advanced Research
Bonnie Martin, Chair Research Associate, Department of History, Southern Methodist University
Eric Bowne Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Arkansas Tech University From Westo to Comanche: The Role of Militaristic Slaving Societies in the North American Slave Trade
Catherine M. Cameron Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado–Boulder Captives and Slaves in Indigenous North America
Paul Conrad Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of History, Colorado State University–Pueblo Native Middle Passages: American Indian Captives in Colonial Cuba
Melissa Farley Director, Prostitution Research & Education, San Francisco
Mark Goldberg Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Houston Linking the Chains: Comanche Captivity, Black Chattel Slavery, and Empire in Antebellum Central Texas
Allison Mileo Gorsuch Fellow, Lamar Center for the Study of Borderlands and the West, Yale University Consenting to Slavery: Comparing Slavery in Free America in the 19th and 21st Centuries
Enrique Lamadrid Distinguished Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, University of New Mexico "Cautivos y Criados": Cultural Memories of Slavery in New Mexico
Calvin Schermerhorn Assistant Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Arizona State University Forced Migrations, Public, Private, and Political: The United States Domestic Slave Trade, Southeastern Indian Removal, and the Integration of a Continental Empire
Nancy Shoemaker Professor, Department of History, University of Connecticut
Andrew Torget Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of North Texas The Saltillo Slavery Debates: Mexicans, Anglo-Americans, and Slavery’s Future in 19th-Century North America
Natale Zappia Assistant Professor, Department of History, Whittier College Indigenous Slave Networks in the Native Far West

Sponsored by Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University

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