667 - The Reconfiguration of American Slavery in the Nineteenth Century: Brazil, Cuba, and the United States

20.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30

Convener 1: Marquese, Rafael (Universidade de São Paulo , São Paulo - SP, Brazil / Brasilien)
Convener 2: Christopher Schmidt-Nowara (Fordham University, Nwe York, Ud States of Am / USA)

This symposium aims to explore the ways in which we can examine the interconnections among the three principal American slaveholding regions of the nineteenth century: Brazil, Cuba, and the United States. The symposium will discuss the potential of the concept of the second slavery for the integrated analysis of these three spaces. The concept refers to the creation of new zones of slavery – exemplified by the Cotton South, the Cuban sugar economy, and the Brazilian coffee zone -- as part of the material expansion and economic and political restructuring of the world-economy during the nineteenth century. These new zones represent dynamic though highly contradictory responses to industrialization, market competition, and political independence in the Americas.

Consequently, the concept of second slavery emphasizes the reformation of slave relations within changing economic, political, social, and cultural fields. From such a perspective, it encourages the re-examination of political and ideological relations and movements including liberalism, anti-slavery, pro-slavery, and the changing repertoires of slave resistance after the Haitian Revolution. It also allows reinterpretation of not only the emergence of new zones of slavery, but also of the crisis and decline of old zones, as well as the interrelation of world, international, national, and local processes organizing and reorganizing diverse forms of free and bonded labor throughout the world economy.

Thus, the concept of second slavery calls into question binomials such as archaic/modern, pre-capitalist/capitalist, slavery/freedom through which slavery has been interpreted. Instead, it emphasizes the complexity of world-economic change and the diverse yet spatially and temporally specific relations through which slavery has been formed and reformed as part of world-economic processes. Further, by focusing our efforts on the interpretation of the second slavery, we are implicitly reinterpreting New World slavery as a whole and providing new ways of understanding large-scale social change.

We therefore invite scholars to propose papers that address the following themes:

1.) Labor, Nature, Technology

2.) Commodity Circuits and the Nationalization of Slavery

3.) Africa and the Slave Trade

4.) The Politics of Slavery and Anti-Slavery

5.) Race and Citizenship

6.) Geographies and Temporalities

Keywords: Slavery, Nineteenth Century, United States, Brazil, Cuba

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