Conference Program

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street


Registration and Reception

Viewing of Exhibition: “The Genius of Freedom: Northern Black Activism after the Civil War”


Keynote Address

Chair: Richard S. Newman, Library Company of Philadelphia

Edward E. Baptist, Cornell University, "Trafficking in People, Real or Derivative: The Second Slavery and Anglo-American Development"

Comment: The Audience

Friday, 24 April 2015

McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk, University of Pennsylvania


Registration and Coffee


Traffickers and Markets

Chair: Jessica Choppin Roney, Temple University

Paul Conrad, Colorado State University-Pueblo, "'To Islands Overseas': The Forced Removal of Indigenous Groups from Southwestern North America in Theory and Practice in the Eighteenth Century"

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, University of California, Berkeley, "Female Soul Drivers, Lady Flesh Stealers, and She-Merchants in the American Slave Trade"

Joshua D. Rothman, University of Alabama, "The Ledger and the Chain: Toward a Biographical Account of America's Slave Traders"

John Harris, Johns Hopkins University, "Circuits of Wealth, Circuits of Sorrow: The Role of the United States in the Illegal Atlantic Slave Trade, 1850-1863"

Commentator: Rebecca Goetz, New York University





Chair: Linford Fisher, Brown University

Joanne Jahnke Wegner, University of Minnesota, "'Two Monies for Me': The Trafficking and Commodification of Susannah Johnson"

Neal D. Polhemus, University of South Carolina, "Ellis Island or Meat Grinder: Preparing and Processing West African Bodies for Market in the Anglo-Atlantic World"

Maurie McInnis, University of Virginia, "Selling the Slave Trade"

Commentator: Seth Rockman, Brown University


Lunch (on own)


Traffic and War

Chair: Donald F. Johnson, Northwestern University

John Donoghue, Loyola University Chicago, "Human Trafficking and the Political Economy of Capitalism in the English Atlantic, ca. 1640-1663"

D. Andrew Johnson, Rice University, "The Native American Slave Trade to South Carolina after the Yamasee War"

Matthew Spooner, Harvard University, "The Commodification of Enslaved Bodies in the Revolutionary South"

Adam Rothman, Georgetown University, "Kidnapping and Enslavement in the U.S. Civil War"

Commentator: Brian Luskey, West Virginia University




Plenary: Historians Against Slavery

Chair: James Brewer Stewart, Macalester College

Address: Stacey Robertson, Central Washington University, and Matthew Mason, Brigham Young University

Comment: The Audience



Saturday, 25 April 2015

McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk, University of Pennsylvania


Registration and Coffee


Activism and Politics I

Chair: Sharon Sundue, Drew University

Sarah L. H. Gronningsater, McNeil Center for Early American Studies/California Institute of Technology, "Cadwallader D. Colden and the Everyday Politics of Kidnapping in New York, 1785-1822"

M. Scott Heerman, Johns Hopkins University, "'Reducing Free Men to Bondage': Human Trafficking and the Politics of Abolition in Antebellum Illinois"

Craig B. Hollander, Princeton University, "'Where is the Difference, in Principle?': Why American Slaveholders Condemned the African Slave Trade"

Commentator: Paul J. Polgar, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture




Activism and Politics II

Chair: Max Mishler, McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Nicholas Wood, University of Virginia/Mount Vernon, "Beyond the PAS: The Philadelphia Meeting for Sufferings and African-American Activism"

Samantha M. Seeley, University of Richmond, "The Politics of Protection in the Early Republic"

Calvin Schermerhorn, Arizona State University, "Sex Trafficking and the Visibilities of the Nineteenth-Century North American Slave Trade in Present-Day Context"

Commentator: Christopher Bonner, University of Maryland


Lunch (on own)



Chair: Richard Bell, University of Maryland

Terri L. Snyder, California State University, Fullerton, "The Trafficking of Elisha Webb, 1737-1742"

Timothy J. Shannon, Gettysburg College, "Aberdeen’s Kidnapping Trade: Child Abduction and Scottish Servitude in Eighteenth-Century North America"

Alison T. Mann, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, "'Horrible Barbarity:' The Case of Dorcas Allen, a District Slave, 1837"

Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut, "Kaisi Labor: The View from Beverly, Massachusetts"

Commentator: Michael A. Ross, University of Maryland





Chairs: Sharon Sundue and Richard Bell

Wendy Warren, Princeton University
Kimberly Welch, West Virginia University
Rodney Hessinger, John Carroll University

Comment: The Audience

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