SLAVERY PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE: 4th Global Meeting
Slavery (the treatment of humans as chattel) and enslavement through conquest, birth, gender, race, ethnicity, and exploitation of indebtedness have been an intrinsic part of human societies.
Slavery and a variety of other forms of exploitation existed in the ancient societies of China, Egypt, Greece, India, Russia and many other states and territories. The Transatlantic Slave Trade furnished at least 10 million Africans for slavery throughout the Americas.
Controversial and contested estimates indicate that up to 40 million people worldwide are enslaved today. This modern re-emergence of slavery into public view, following legal abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade over two hundred years ago, is said to be linked to the deepening interconnectedness of countries in the global economy, overpopulation, and the economic and other vulnerabilities of individual victims and communities.
But should we think of these people as enslaved? And if so, is slavery an inevitable part of the human condition? Like ‘consumers’ of past eras, such as early industrialization, are we dependent on the exploitation of others? What does the persistence and mutations of different forms of exploitation mean in the context of abolition and recognition of universal individual and collective human rights?
The varieties of contemporary forms of exploitation appear to be endless. This interdisciplinary conference will facilitate a multidisciplinary exploration of slavery in all its dimensions.
Submissions are sought from people from all walks of life and identities, including:
- Academics: from all disciplines, such as art, film, anthropology, sociology, history, ethnic studies, politics, social work, economics, and any field that touches the study of exploitation
- Civil society members: human rights activists, leaders in non-governmental organizations, and others in the NGO or social advocacy fields
- Professionals: social workers, corporate social responsibility and business ethics professionals, business leaders, and health care professionals
- Government actors: representatives, policymakers, lobbyists, and analysts
- Global citizens with personal connections to slavery or exploitation: former slaves or indentured laborers, members of at-risk populations, migrant or guest workers, non-regularized immigrants, and refugees
Potential themes and sub-themes include but are not limited to:
- Defining Slavery:
- What do we mean when we talk about “slavery”
- Using “slavery” to obscure other endemic forms of exploitation
- Teaching and learning about historic slavery and contemporary forms of exploitation
- Slaveries of the Past