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29 Mar 2012: Neale Lecture and Colloquium

2 November 2011

Grant Cartoon

The inaugural Neale Lecture was held in celebration of the 80th birthday of Professor Sir John Neale in 1970, with a lecture by Dame Veronica Wedgwood. Since 1994, the lecture has been combined with a colloquium. 

Today, the Neale Lecture and Colloquium is a biennial event, held in alternate years with the Commonwealth Fund Lecture.

The next Neale Lecture and Colloquium will be held in March 2012. The lecture will be given by Professor Robin Blackburn (University of Essex) at 6pm on 29 March 2012 in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL. It will be followed by a two-day colloquium on 'Emancipation, Slave-ownership and the Remaking of the British Imperial World'.

The colloquium aims to present the findings of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project and engage with current work exploring the importance of slavery and slave-ownership in the re-making of the British imperial world after abolition in 1833.

Whilst the 2007 bicentenary of the end of the slave trade inaugurated an explosion of popular interest in Britain’s role in the slavery business, much is still unknown about the significance of slavery to the formation of modern imperial Britain. Yet in 1833, abolition was heralded as evidence of Britain’s claim to be 'the' modern global power, its commitment to representative government in Britain, free labour, the rule of law, and a benevolent imperial mission all aspects of a national identity rooted in notions of freedom and liberty. This conference will bring together historians from Britain, the US and the Caribbean to discuss the legacies of slavery and slave-ownership.

There will be five panel sessions, readings and a roundtable. The colloquium will begin with an introduction to the LBS project, which has been investigating what happened to the 20 million pounds of compensation money paid to British slave owners after 1833, and mark the launch of the online Legacies of British Slave-ownership Encyclopaedia. Questions we then hope to address through the following panels include: what was the character of the British imperial state in the wake of 1833? What happened to the merchants and planters who had been central to the West Indian economy and to the culture they had elaborated? What new forms of unfree labour emerged across the British Empire? How can academic historians connect with the museums, family and local historians who have made critical contributions to the understanding of slavery and its legacies?

Participants will include Catherine Hall, Nick Draper, Keith McClelland, Zoe Laidlaw, Richard Huzzey, Miles Taylor, Chris Evans, Simon Smith, Heather Cateau, Anita Rupprecht, Clare Anderson, Alison Light, Andrea Stuart, Verene Shepherd, Vijaya Teelock and Francoise Verges.

For more information about the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, please visit the project website.

For more information about the 2012 Neale Lecture and Colloquium, please email the Legacies of British Slave-ownership team.

List of previous Neale Lectures

Page last modified on 17 aug 11 13:58 by Britta Schilling