Rethinking Slavery in the 21st Century: Representing Slavery

January 4, 2017
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This one and half-day symposium examined the archival and popular representation of chattel slavery, as altered by the cultural and technological transformations of the 21st century. Scholars explored the histories and legacies of slavery in the Atlantic world, as they occur in art, film, literature, legal records, museums, social interaction, and technology. Our goal was to think across methodological approaches to slavery in order to clarify the exigencies and demands for continued investigation of the bondsperson’s experiences and the cultural significance of slavery.
This was the first panel that featured three participants and their papers:

1.)-“Through the African American Lens: (Re)Interpreting Images of Slavery for the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” Mary Elliot, Museum Specialist, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

2.)-“Cinema’s Peculiar Institution,” Ellen Scott, Associate Professor, Director and Chair, Moving Image Archives Studies, UCLA

3.)-“Scenes in the Hold: Roots and the Middle Passage,” Matthew Delmont, Professor, Arizona State University (featuring scenes from 1977’s Roots: The Saga of an American Family television mini-series, originally aired on ABC Television)

“Rethinking Slavery in the 21st Century: Images and Archives” was co-sponsored by the Duke University’s Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS), the Art, Art History & Visual Studies department, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI).