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Friday, May 2010:35 - 12:20 PM

Session 2

Slavery and Freedom

Panelists will discuss historiographical trends in the study of slavery and post-emancipation society, such as the re-conceptualization of slavery’s history from a comparative and then trans-national perspective at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


Eric Foner photo

Eric Foner

Columbia University


Annette Gordon-Reed photo

Annette Gordon-Reed

Harvard University

Thavolia Glymph photo

Thavolia Glymph

Duke University

Walter Johnson photo

Walter Johnson

Harvard University

Brenda E. Stevenson photo

Brenda E. Stevenson

University of California, Los Angeles


Gregory P. Downs photo

Gregory P. Downs

University of California, Davis

Rita Roberts photo

Rita Roberts

Scripps College

Stephanie Smallwood photo

Stephanie Smallwood

University of Washington

Session Time Slot(s)

05/20/2016 - 10:35-05/20/2016 - 12:20

Session Blog

Slavery and the Framing of the African American Past: Reflections from a Historian of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Does the from slavery to freedom narrative still fit? Does the before-and-after framing of African American history around the pivotal event of legal emancipation still adequately organize the narrative arc of this field of studies? These were among the central questions session chair Eric Foner (Columbia Univ.) asked panelists to address in Friday morning’s “...

“Slavery and Freedom”: The Difference that Emancipation Made

While the topics were serious, the setting of the conference on the Future of the African American Past was like a homecoming. So many of us have known each other for decades and have read and appreciated one another’s work.

“Slavery and Freedom”: Historians Debate Continued Relevance of an Old Paradigm

As historian Eric Foner introduced the second Friday session on “Slavery and Freedom” at the Future of the African American Past conference, he described a photograph of himself, age 2, on Paul Robeson’s shoulders. It must have seemed, Foner reminisced, a “...

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