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African Diaspora Newsletter No.11 - ANNOUNCEMENTS

Revolution, Independence, and Emancipation: The Struggle Against Slavery in the Circum- Caribbean, Limón, Costa Rica, 27-29 August 2004

The struggle to abolish slavery and to attain emancipation for the enslaved populations of the Americas was a protracted process; indeed the struggle was a continuation of the daily resistance, marronage, and periodic uprisings that characterized the regime of slavery in all parts of the Americas. For the purpose of examining this struggle, a conference is being planned to examine the process of revolution, independence and emancipation, with a focus on the region of the circum-Caribbean, and with the intention of concentrating on the roles of Africans and their descendants in this struggle for honour, dignity and self-determination.

In recognition of the United Nations designation of 2004 as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and for Its Abolition, the conference will focus on the key role of the revolution in St. Domingue in the 1790s, the independence of Haiti in 1804, and the ongoing influence and legacy of this momentous struggle. Other themes include the impact of British abolition of the slave trade after 1807 on Caribbean societies, the wars of Independence in Spanish America and the resulting emancipation of the enslaved populations after 1820; emancipation in British and French colonies in 1834-38 and 1848; the struggle against the continuation of slavery in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the southern United States; emancipation and the US Civil War; and revolution and emancipation in Cuba. This focus on almost one hundred years of struggle in the circum-Caribbean attempts to overcome regional and parochial approaches to the study of slavery and the formation of the African diaspora by emphasizing interactions among the different parts of the circum-Caribbean.

The struggle against slavery involved major political, economic and ideological changes interrelated across the circum-Caribbean. Indeed, the focus of the conference is on these connections among the different parts of the region, no matter the European colony or language. The period highlighted by the conference is also one which is characterized by distinct movements of intra-regional migration beginning with the flight escaped slaves and of refugees from the Haiti revolution and their settlement in different parts of the region and including the movement of numbers of people from the island colonies to the mainland territories. The changed composition of the continued though diminishing arrival of Africans during this period also influenced the events and struggles in the region. The macro events form the context in which at the micro level the enslaved struggled for their freedom and the emancipated population sought to determine the meaning of freedom.

The conference organizers invite papers and/or panels discussing any aspect of this struggle for freedom by the enslaved and its aftermath in the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean region. Papers will focus on the subalterns and offer an opportunity to explore the ways in which they contributed to the development of the Atlantic world in this period are particularly welcome. Other suggested topics include public and collective memory and commemoration; religion; literary manifestations; ideas of Africa and repatriation; ethnicity and nationalism in the aftermath of slavery.

Submission of Proposals:
Proposals for papers, including title and one paragraph abstract, should be submitted to circumcaribbean@yorku.ca by April 30, 2004. All papers are due 1 August 2004 and should be sent as an attachment to the conference e-address.

Acceptance of Proposals:
Accepted proposals will be posted on the conference website, along with abstracts. Individual letters of invitation will be written to assist in visa applications, where necessary, and in support of institutional funding to cover the costs of participation.

Conference Sponsorship:
Centro de Investigaciones Históricas en America Central (CIHAC), Universidad de Costa Rica
Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora, York University
Text and Testimony Collective, University of the West Indies

Organizing Committee:
Prof. Hilary Beckles, Principal, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
Prof Rina Cáceres Gomez, Directora, CIHAC <rcaceres@cariari.ucr.ac.cr>
Prof. Paul E. Lovejoy, Director, Tubman Resource Centre <plovejoy@yorku.ca>
Prof. Verene Shepherd, Director, Text and Testimony Collective <verenalber@yahoo.com>
Prof. David V. Trotman, Associate Director, Tubman Resource Centre <dtrotman@yorku.ca>


A Pan-Caribbean Perspective on the Atlantic World: New Directions in Scholarship
York University, Toronto, Canada 14-16 October 2004


Interested parties are invited to submit proposals for individual and/or complete panels for the above workshop.

The goal of this workshop is to discuss ‘theory, methods and techniques’ of Caribbean history within an Atlantic context by focusing on a number of key themes. It gives primacy to a pan-Caribbean approach, which has long been advocated by prominent scholars of the region. Although the challenge of overcoming the linguistic barriers has hindered academics from undertaking studies that are truly pan-Caribbean in perspective some steps within the recent decade have been made in this direction. The publication of the UNESCO volumes on the history of the Caribbean is one notable example. In order to further these initiatives, the workshop is organized around a pan-Caribbean framework and it invites scholars from around the region to continue this discussion and initiate new conversations across linguistic barriers. We also envision that this workshop will offer an opportunity for an assessment of the state of Caribbean historical scholarship and generate discussions on new directions in research.

Papers and/or complete panels will be chosen on the basis of their contribution to the furtherance of these pan-Caribbean goals. Priority will be given to complete thematic panels, which include papers by scholars drawn from across the linguistic regions.

We have already had commitments from a number of senior academics of the region and so we particularly encourage junior scholars and advanced doctoral students to submit proposals.

Organizing Committee:
Prof David V. Trotman, York University (dtrotman@yorku.ca)
Dr Juanita De Barros, Western Michigan University (Juanita.debarros@wmich.edu)
Ms Audra Diptee, University of Toronto (adiptee@chass.utoronto.ca)
Dr Michele Johnson, York University (johnsonm@yorku.ca)
Mr Thor Burnham, York University (tburnham@yorku.ca)
Mr Oscar Grandio, York University (ograndio@yorku.ca


Colombia Digitaliza su Mayor Archivo Visual

Desde el viernes 26, a las 11:00 AM en el Archivo General de la Nación En línea más de 155 mil imágenes sobre esclavitud Proyecto Memoria del Mundo de la Unesco, Bogotá, Colombia 24 de Marzo de 2004). Hay hechos que no tenemos el derecho de olvidar, podría ser el lema del trabajo que la UNESCO está liderando en el mundo. Uno de esos hechos para no olvidar es la esclavitud de más 12 millones de africanos que fueron forzados a inmigrar en las peores de las condiciones a tierras de Europa y las Américas. Por eso 2004 es el Año Internacional de Conmemoración de la Lucha Contra la Esclavitud y de su Abolición.

A través del Archivo General de la Nación Colombia ha respondido al enorme reto de no olvidar la esclavitud. En el marco del programa de la UNESCO "Memoria del mundo, patrimonio digital de la humanidad", desde el viernes 26 de marzo a las 11:00 Am, cuando se inaugurará oficialmente en la web http://www.archivogeneral.gov.co/, "Negros y esclavos en el programa Memoria del Mundo", colombianos y todos los ciudadanos del mundo podrán acceder al que desde ese día será el mayor archivo documental de América Latina sobre la esclavitud.
Con un apoyo de 55 mil dólares de la UNESCO, en tan sólo cuatro meses el Archivo General de la Nación proceso archivísticamente y digitalizó sus más de 115 mil imágenes de documentos y apoyó técnicamente en el mismo proceso al Archivo Regional de Boyacá, al Archivo Histórico de Antioquia y al Archivo Central del Cauca. De este modo se suman un poco mas de 155 mil
imágenes que quedarán en un sólo portal al que tendrán acceso colombianos y extranjeros.
La presentación de este monumental trabajo tendrá lugar el próximo viernes 26 de marzo, a las 11:00 Am en la sede del Archivo General de la Nación con la participación de la viceministra de Cultura, Adriana Mejía; el director Regional de Información de la Unesco para América Latina y el Caribe, Isidro Fernández y la directora del Archivo General de la Nación, Sara González. La
presentación del proyecto estará a cargo de Mauricio Tovar y Leonardo Guzmán, jefe de la sala de investigación y grupo de sistemas, respectivamente.

En el Año Internacional de Conmemoración de la Lucha Contra la Esclavitud y de su Abolición, la UNESCO se ha puesto en la tarea de poner fin al silencio que rodea el tema de la trata de esclavos y subrayar lo más objetivamente posible sus consecuencias para la transformación del mundo y la interacción entre los pueblos. Para lograrlo una de sus misiones es apoyar la recuperación de la memoria de uno de los crímenes más sangrientos, brutales e inmorales de la humanidad. Durante 400 años se obligó a más de 12 millones de africanos a llegar a otras tierras, con lo cual se alteró negativamente el desarrollo de África. En esta conmemoración, las Naciones Unidas rescata la importancia colosal de la esclavitud para el desarrollo social, político,
económico y cultural de Europa y América, así como para el subdesarrollo africano.
Qué es esclavitud para la ONU? Esclavo es aquel cuya movilidad y capacidad para tomar decisiones está restringida y no está en condiciones de elegir sus empleadores. Esta definición señala claramente la existencia de nuevas formas de esclavitud como la servidumbre, la prostitución, los menores esclavizados, los trabajadores migratorios indocumentados, entre otras.

Jerónimo Delgädo Caicedo
Grupo de Estudios Africanos - GEA
Centro de Investigaciones y Proyectos Especiales - CIPE
Facultad de Finanzas, Gobierno y Relaciones Internacionales
Universidad Externado de Colombia
Carrera 1 No. 12 - 66, Casa de las Mandolinas, Piso 2, Bogotá, D.C. - Colombia
Teléfono: (57-1) 3.42.02.88 Ext. 1255; Fax: (57-1) 3.41.87.15
Correo Electrónico: jdc1@uexternado.edu.co; http://www.cursos.uexternado.edu.co/africa/



National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Newsletter
The 7th edition of the Network to Freedom newsletter is now available. In order to cut costs for re-producing and mailing the newsletter, we are making it available electronically for those who have internet access. The electronic version will also have the advantage of showing the photographs in colour. You may access the newsletter on the Network to Freedom website at http://209.10.16.21/TEMPLATE/FrontEnd/newsletter0403.pdf.

We are always interested in material to include in the newsletter. Please contact me if you would like to contribute an article. Deadlines for newsletter submissions are the same as for Network applications: January 15 and July 15 of each year.

Diane Miller (Diane_Miller@nps.gov)
National Coordinator,
National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom National Park Service Omaha, Nebraska
 

Department of History, York University,  Toronto, Canada
Email: nigerian@yorku.ca
Fax: (416) 650-8173