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Region and Nation in American Histories of Race and Slavery Conference

Held in partnership with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture from October 6-9, 2016 at the Washington Library, Region and Nation in American Histories of Race and Slavery explored the role of regional and national histories of race and slavery in North America from the late fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. The conference coincided with the opening of the first major exhibition interpreting slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Photographer, Maria Bryk

Beyond Black and White: Slaveries in the Trans-Appalachian West during the Eighteenth Century

Chair: Sophie White, University of Notre Dame

Michael Goode, Utah Valley University, “Rethinking Slavery on the Pennsylvania Frontier”

Scott Heerman, University of Miami, “Rediscovering Race: Indian and African Slavery in the Illinois Country”

Samantha Seeley, University of Richmond, “Spaces of Freedom: Slavery and Fugitivity North of the Ohio River”

Comment: Eric Hinderaker, University of Utah


North of Failure: Unmaking Slavery in the Mid-Atlantic

Chair: Antonio Bly, Appalachian State University

David Gellman, DePauw University, “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: The Founders and Slavery—A Regionalist Revision”

Sarah Gronningsater, California Institute of Technology, “A Generational Perspective of the Long Emancipation”

Paul Polgar, University of Mississippi, “Freedom Local: Enacting Black Liberty in the Early National Mid-Atlantic”

Comment: Manisha Sinha, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Women and the Economy of Slavery in Early America

Chair: Richard Bell, University of Maryland

Alexandra Finley, College of William & Mary (Ph.D. 2016), “Finding the Domestic in the Domestic Slave Trade: Women’s Labor in the Richmond Slave Market”

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, University of California, Berkeley, “Mistresses of the Market: White Women and the Nineteenth-Century Domestic Slave Trade”

Shauna Sweeney, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, “Market Marronnage: Enslaved Women Traders in Nineteenth-Century Jamaica”

Comment: Jessica Marie Johnson, John Hopkins University


Universities and Histories of Race and Enslaved Labor

Chair: Kirt von Daacke, University of Virginia

Jim Campbell, Stanford University

Adam Rothman, Georgetown University

Craig Wilder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Comment: Jody Allen, the Lemon Project at the College of William & Mary


Photographer, Maria Bryk

Indian Slavery/Slaveries in early Eastern North America

Chair: Brett Rushforth, University of Oregon

Kristofer Ray, Dartmouth College, “Constructing a Discourse of Indian Slavery, Freedom, and Sovereignty in Anglo-Virginia, 1600–1830”

Margaret Newell, Ohio State University, “‘As good if not better then Moorish Slaves’: Region and Ethnicity in slavery—the case of New England”

Hayley Negrin, New York University, “Interconnected Regimes: The Indian Slave Trade in Carolina and Plantation Slavery in Virginia after the Westo War of 1679”

Comment: Linford Fisher, Brown University


Intellectual and Legal Constructions of Race

Chair: Caree Ann Marie Banton, University of Arkansas

Brooke Newman, Virginia Commonwealth University, “Filii Nullius: Slavery, Lineage, and the Legal Foundations of Race in the Anglo Atlantic”

Ruth Hill, Vanderbilt University, “The Matter of Race in the Americas”

Gideon Mailer, University of Minnesota, Duluth, “The Scottish Enlightenment and American Slavery, 1700–1800”

Comment: Simon Newman, University of Glasgow


Cities, Sovereignties, and Religious Orders in the Study of Slavery

Chair: Scott Casper, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Jared Hardesty, Western Washington University, “A Slave Society, Society with Slaves, or Something Else?: Atlantic Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Boston”

Tessa Murphy, Syracuse University, “Laboring ‘beyond the line’: Slavery in the Neutral Islands of the Southern Caribbean c. 1700–1762”

Steve Lenik, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, “The Jesuits and Plantation Slavery Beyond the Region: Comparing Maryland and Martinique”

Comment: Maria Bollettino, Framingham State University


Enslaved Labor in the Early Chesapeake: Transformations and Approaches

Chair: April Hatfield, Texas A&M University

Lorena Walsh, “Three Generations of Violence: Labor Discipline on Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake Plantations”

John Coombs, Hampden-Sydney College, “‘The major part of the Negros speak English’: The Conversion to Slavery in the Early Chesapeake and the Formation of African-American Culture”

Erica Cavanaugh, Research Editor, The Washington Papers, “The Exploration of New Tools for the Research and Study of Slavery Using George Washington’s Ledgers and Data Visualizations”

Comment: Holly Brewer, University of Maryland