Confluence of Cultures or Convergence of Diasporas, An International Symposium

Marrakech, Morocco
20-22 May 2011

Sponsored by

Fondación Tres Culturas del Mediterráno
The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples

The symposium proposes to examine the interconnections and convergence of cultures under conditions of slavery. While slavery tended to impose the culture of the master society on enslaved people of foreign or alien origin, whenever the enslaved population was of sufficient size, we are more accurate in considering the clash of cultures, as when Muslims were enslaved in Christian lands, or people of Yoruba culture were enslaved in Brazil or Cuba. In these situations, we can talk of enslaved populations being in diaspora, with sufficient cultural memory to link with a homeland. We want to examine slavery through a paradigm that explores the convergence of diasporas. The symposium assembles specialists of slavery under different historical regimes, whether in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic world, or the Indian Ocean.

The program encourages scholarly inquiry and advances a wide range of inter and trans-disciplinary approaches for the theory and practice of diaspora studies. The intention is to focus on issues of diversity, inclusiveness, global studies and the challenges of the future. The outcome of the conference will benefit not only people of African descent but also all other diaspora communities and activities. The increasing cosmopolitanism of the world requires us to provide our communities with the richest engagement possible into the worlds of the diasporas. The proposed program facilitates the realization of this goal.

Further, we want to foster intercultural dialogue, focusing on slavery and diversity as issues to be confronted to overcome injustices of the past and present. In the multi-cultural world in which we live, we want to promote inter-culturalism by demonstrating the confluence of cultures and the convergence of diasporas.

Organizing Committee

Chouki El Hamel, Research Associate, Tubman Institute, and Associate Professor of History, Arizona State University

Mohamed Ennaji, Professer at Université Muhammad V and Associate Director of Fondación Tres Culturas

Paul Lovejoy, Distinguished Research Professor, Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History, Director, The Harriet Tubman Institute, York University, Toronto Canada, and Member of the International Scientific Committee, UNESCO “Slave Route” Project

Titles and Abstracts

1. Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto
al-Wazzan/Leo Africanus and confluent cultures

2. Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, Université Paris-7 Denis Diderot
African slave culture and the Atlantic World in the Nineteenth Century

3. Suzanne Schwarz, University of Worcester
Identity and Encounter: The Role of Women in Sierra Leone in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century

4. Cynthia Becker, Boston University
The Diaspora Aesthetics of the Moroccan Gnawa

5. Paul Lovejoy, York University
Diaspora Tales of the Enslavement of Muslims from the Central Sudan

6. Chouki El Hamel, Arizona State University
Concubinage, Female Agency and Hybridity in Late Nineteenth Century Morocco

7. Rina Caceres, Universidad de Costa Rica
Fortress Life of Enslaved Africans in Spanish America-Omoa in the Late Eighteenth Century

8. Bruce Hall, Duke University
Enslaved Paths of Circulation in the Sahara: Commercial networks and slave agency between Ghadames (Libya) and Timbuktu (Mali) in the 19th century

9. Gwyn Campbell, McGill University
The Concept of 'Homeland' for Slaves in the Indian Ocean World

10. Michele Johnson, York University
“ . . . dis, dat, and toder”: Constructing a National Creole Language in Jamaica during Slavery

11. Yacine Daddi Addoun, York University
Crossed Histories of Suffering: Slavery, and Diasporas in 19th Century Ottoman Algeria

12. Mariana P. Candido, Princeton University
Trade Diasporas in Benguela: Marriages between African Merchants and the Donas, ca. 1801-1850

13. Ibrahima Seck, The West African Research Center
Religions africaines et esclavage outre-Atlantique

14. Myriam Cottias, CNRS
The tricks of culture. Daily life between master and slaves on a martinican plantation (1808-1854)

15. Ned Alpers, UCLA
When Diasporas Meet: The cultural legacies of slavery and indentured labor in the previously uninhabited Indian Ocean islands of La Reunion and Mauritius

16. Timothy Cleaveland, University of Georgia
The Mirrored Diasporas of Slaves and Masters, and their Merging Identities in the Pre-colonial Southwestern Sahara and Sahel

17. Patrick Manning, University of Pittsburgh
The Old-World African Diaspora: Parallels and Divergences”

18. Stanlie M. James, Arizona State University
Women, Slavery and International Human Rights

19. Martin Klein, University of Toronto
The First Diasporas:The Slave Trade and Population Movements within West Africa

20. Jane Landers, Vanderbilt University
The First Maroon Wars in the Americas: Hispaniola in the 16th Century

21. Eve Troutt Powell, University of Pennsylvania
“The Slaves at Bedtime: Ottoman and Egyptian Elite Women and their Memoirs of Slavery, 1920s-1940s”

22. Renée Soulodre-La France, University of Western Ontario
“Christians in the Making: Enslaved Africans in Colonial Colombia.”

23. Salah Trabelsi, GREMMO-CIRESC-EHESS
« De Djâhiz à Khayr-al-Dîn, le rôle des esclaves dans l’affirmation d’un humanisme arabo-musulman »

24. Stéphanie Pouessel, l’Institut de recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain, Tunisie
Retour à une histoire "africaine" au Maghreb: reconnaissance de la « diversité » à travers le projet « la route des esclaves » en Tunisie

25. Carolyn Brown, Rutgers University
Gendering Social Change in an Industrial Setting: Slavery and the Corrosive Impact of Wage Labor in Southeastern Nigeria.

26. Mary Margaret Fonow, Arizona State University
Human Rights, Feminism and Transnational Labor.

Marrakech, Morocco
Fri, 05/20/2011 - Sun, 05/22/2011