Past Event

Slavery and its Aftermath in the Atlantic World: An International Symposium

Join us for this international symposium on the slave trade and its aftermath in the modern world is inspired by the UIC Library’s unique collection of works on abolition, the founding of Sierra Leone, the transatlantic slave trade, and modern Caribbean literature.

Symposium panels will serve to contextualize the collections by focusing on current scholarship in the areas of:

  • Abolition, Freetown and Empire
  • Black Atlantic in the Age of Revolution
  • Caribbean and Black Atlantic Thought
  • The Colonial Legacy and Future of Sierra Leone
  • Race, Racism, Memory and the Legacy of Slavery

The Symposium is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is recommended and can be completed online.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, October 6 in Room 605 (Student Center East)

  • 9 AM: Coffee and Rolls
  • 10-12 AM: Panel 3: Caribbean and Black Atlantic Thought
    Panelists: Mamadou Diouf, Sean X. Goudie, Matthew J. Smith, Sunil Agnani (Moderator), and Natasha Barnes (Moderator)
  • 12:00-1:30 PM: Lunch break
  • 1:30-3:00 PM: Panel 4: Colonial Legacy and Future of Sierra Leone
    Panelists: Arthur Abraham, Joseph Bangura, Dick Simpson (Moderator)
  • 3:15-5:00 PM: Panel 5: Race, Racism, Memory and the Legacy of Slavery
    Panelists: Christopher Brown, Randall Robinson, B. Anthony Bogues, Ana Lucia Araujo, Susan Robeson, and Barbara Ransby (Moderator)

Friday, October 5 in the Cardinal Room (Student Center East)

  • 9 AM: Coffee and Rolls
  • 10-12 AM: Panel 1: Abolition, Freetown, and Empire
    Panelists: Christopher Brown, Alan Gilbert, Kristin Mann, and James Searing (Moderator)
  • 12:00-1:30 PM: Lunch break
  • 1:30-3:30 PM: Panel 2: Black Atlantic in the Age of Revolution
    Panelists: W. Bryan Rommel-Ruiz, Sibylle Fischer, and Corey Capers (Moderator)
  • 4-5 PM: Keynote Address: “Africa in the Diaspora and the Diaspora in Africa: Towards an Integrated Body of Knowledge” by Toyin Falola
  • 5:15 PM in the UIC University Library: Reception and Exhibit viewing of “Commerce in Human Souls: The Legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Thursday, October 4 at 4 PM in Illinois Rooms A & B (Student Center East)

Opening Keynote: “Faction: Merging History and Fiction in Someone Knows My Name / The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill
Reception to follow in Illinois Room C

Click here for more details about the panelists.

The symposium is presented in partnership with the British Consulate General-Chicago and the University of Illinois’ Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, Institute for the Humanities, Great Cities Institute, UIC Social Justice Initiative, Honors College, University Library, Departments of Political Science, History, African American Studies, & English, Office of International Affairs, and International Studies Program.

This symposium is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

For more information, please visit or call 312.996.6352.