Slavery’s Hinterlands — Symposium Thru Saturday

“Slavery’s Hinterlands: Capitalism and Bondage in Rhode Island and Across the Atlantic world” is a three-day symposium taking place May 2-4 at locations around Providence and Pawtucket. Leading academics and public historians will explore American slavery as it was: not merely the South’s “peculiar” institution, but a core feature of American capitalism and empire.

The event will explore the entangled histories of slavery and capitalism: stretching from African and indigenous slavery in New England to the Haitian Revolution, the industrial revolution, the transformation of Indian territories into plantation states, and the sex trade in antebellum New Orleans—and also how our public institutions remember and reproduce the past. Instead of conventional panels, Daniel Denvir, the host of Jacobin’s The Dig podcast, will conduct live interviews to be aired on the show.

Thursday, 6:30pm — Cathedral of St. John on North Main Street. Historian Christy Clark-Pujara discusses “Living and Laboring in the Business of Slavery.”

Friday, 3pm to 6:30pm — Slater Mill Museum in Pawtucket. Explore the role of slavery in the rise of industrial capitalism and the American labor movement with Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, followed by interviews and panels at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center.

Saturday, 9am to 2:30pm — Various locations around College Hill. Begin with a tour of the John Brown House Museum on Power Street, led by Rhode Island Historical Society Executive Director Morgan Grefe, and a walking tour of College Hill highlighting the history of slavery and black Rhode Island led by Elon Cook and Marco McWilliams; followed by further panels and interviews at Brown University.

Go to the Facebook event page for a detailed schedule.

Space on the tours will be limited to those who reserve a free spot ahead of time (go here). Musician and public historian, Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, runs the labor history program at Slater Mill Museum and is a member of the band, Downtown Boys. We interviewed Joey last October as he expanded his guided lecture program to include the John Brown House Museum. Those tours have been very popular, often filling up.

All events free and open to the public, Slavery’s Hinterlands, Thursday thru Saturday, May 2-4

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