Call of papers Resistance to Slavery in Africa: Past and Present
News and Announcements
Wednesday, June 28, 2023 08:34 AM

23-24 October 2023
SOAS / University of London

The aim of the symposium is to re-explore the very idea and concept of resistance to slavery in a cross-regional comparative perspective. Debates about collective forms of resistance to slavery in Africa appear to have faded in the face of a focus on individual agency and everyday resistance. By depicting especially complex individualised trajectories of agency within the ‘kinship continuum’ (Miers & Kopytoff 1977), research has tended to lose sight of resistance and the fundamental oppressive and violent nature of slavery. We aim to highlight the complex relations between the individual and the collective in their response to the institution of slavery - whether as social system, form of labour, or mode of production.

Some suggested topics, but not limited to:

  • Marronage
  • Refuge communities
  • Outmigration to urban areas/abroad
  • Ransoming and redemption
  • Claims to reparations
  • Abolitionism
  • Legal disputes
  • Reconfiguration/Transformation of social relations
  • Revolts, both individual and collective
  • Anti-slavery activism
  • Environmental strategies, landscape accommodation and material structures (walls, caves, etc), defensive strategies
  • Religion and resistance
  • Healing as a specialisation and source of power
  • Psycho-resistance
  • memory cultures in embodied oral, written or material forms
  • artistic expressions of resistance
  • early warning systems through warning tales and songs (e.g. prohibitions to go out after dark, etc)

Organisers: Marie Rodet, Lotte Pelckmans, Esteban Salas, Wayne Dooling

Please send an abstract of 300 words plus a short bio to
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
by 17 July 2023.

Decisions will be communicated by 31 July 2023.
Abstracts can be sent in English, French or Portuguese.

Some funding might be available to support travel and accommodation for those who
do not dispose over their own funding.

Download full call of papers here

Présentation du CIRESC

Le CIRESC, Centre international de recherche sur les esclavages et les post-esclavages (, porte depuis 2006 une réflexion collective sur un fait social historique global, l'esclavage, qui contribue à structurer nos sociétés actuelles. Devenu USR (Unité de Service et de Recherche) en 2017, le CIRESC a pour mission de fédérer, soutenir, diffuser et valoriser les initiatives pertinentes de ce champ de recherche.