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Legacies of European Colonial Slavery
Colonial slavery profoundly shaped modern Europe – in France as well as in Britain. Yet while its legacies clearly reach into our world today, the extent and limits of slavery’s role in shaping history in different European imperial contexts has only relatively recently begun to attract scholarly attention. How have these histories been situated within national and public histories of slavery and the slave-trade in France and Britain? How can we map and analyse economic, social and cultural historical aspects of enslavement in both countries? How were national identities in Europe constituted in relation to the multiple ‘others’ of the colonies and their descendants?
These were the questions addressed during this joint lecture and an accompanying workshop, the third and last event in a series the European Institute has hosted with the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni in the academic year 2013-14.
Catherine Hall: Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at UCL. Her research focuses on re-thinking the relation between Britain and its empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is particularly interested in the ways in which empire impacted upon metropolitan life, how the empire was lived 'at home', and how English identities, both masculine and feminine, were constituted in relation to the multiple 'others' of the empire. Civilising Subjects looks at the process of mutual constitution, both of colonizer and colonized, in England and Jamaica in the period between the 1830s and the 1860s.
Her most recent book, Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain (2012), focuses on the significance of the Macaulays, father and son, in defining the parameters of nation and empire in the early nineteenth century. Catherine Hall was Principal Investigator of the ESRC-funded project Legacies of British Slave Ownership (2004-12), and now of the new ESRC/AHRC funded project The Structure and Significance of British-Caribbean Slave-Ownership, 1763-1833 (2013-16).
Myriam Cottias: historian of slavery and professor with the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the CRPLC, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane. She heads the International Research Centre on Slavery, Actors, Systems and Representations (Esclavages) associated with the CNRS. She is also co-responsible for the specialisation "History of the Colonial Fact" in the MA History of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Social Sciences (EHESS). She also was the scientific coordinator of the European FP7 project Slave Trade, Slave Abolitions and their Legacies in European Histories and Identities (EURESCL). She is a member of the National Committee of the CNRS and President of the Comité National pour l’Histoire et la Mémoire de l’Esclavage.
Amongst others, her published works include: Les dépendances serviles; une approche comparée, with Bernard Vincent et Sandro Stella (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2006); D'une abolition, l'autre. Anthologie raisonnée de textes sur la seconde abolition de l'esclavage dans les colonies françaises (Marseille: Agone Editeur, 1999); De la nécessité d’adopter l’esclavage en France: un texte anonyme de 1797 and La question noire. Histoire d’une construction coloniale, both with Arlette Farge (Paris: Bayard, 2007). Her latest book is Relire Mayotte Capécia, une femme des Antilles dans l’espace colonial Français, with Madeleine Dobie (Paris: Armand Colin, 2012).
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