Call for Papers: 500 Years Later: Reverberations of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

There is little doubt that from its origins in the 16th century through its end in the 19th century the transatlantic slave trade dramatically shaped the trajectories of many millions of lives on at least four continents (Africa, Europe, North America, and South America, and the Caribbean). Whether, in what forms, by what means, and to what effect the slave trade continues to leave social, cultural, institutional, familial and personal impressions in the present day are matters of considerable debate and even tension – in the former slave-trading and slave-hosting nations, in West and Central Africa, but also in countries whose involvement was less obvious. 

Guest editor David Anderson Hooker, Director of Research and Training for  Coming to the Table: Taking America (USA) Beyond the Legacy of Enslavement, and the editorial staff of Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts, invite submissions for the first issue of its fifth volume, entitled “500 Years Later: Reverberations of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.”

The Transatlantic Slave Trade most immediately touched societies and lives in France, Great Britain, Portugal and Brazil, the Netherlands, North America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Central Africa. We especially welcome analyses, critiques, reflections, and documentation by activists, community-based organizations, and others living and working in these countries and regions or working on issues that implicate developments and dynamics in these places. Of course, the work of scholars, advocates, activists and practitioners in all disciplines working elsewhere are also welcome.

Topics of inquiry can include but are not limited to:

  • In what ways do the effects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade continue to ripple through the lives of particular people, institutions, communities, and societies? With what impact? How do we know? 
  • What narratives prevail about the linkages between the slave trade and its historical impacts, on one hand, and contemporary racial meanings and conditions, on the other?
  • How pronounced are calls for racial “healing” and reconciliation? What are their sources? What efforts have been tried and with what success? Failures?
  • Do reparations movements do more good or more harm – under what circumstances and in what respects? What are the potential dangers and pitfalls of demands for reparations for the descendants of slaves? What would a truly beneficial approach to reparations look like?
  • How has the slave trade shaped contemporary notions of “whiteness” and “blackness,” whether locally or globally? What effect does it continue to exert on other identities? What reparative work is needed, if any, to fashion more constructive concepts of racial identity and meaning?  Or are we at a point in time where notions of race no longer serve a beneficial effect; and, if so, what, if anything would “replace race”
  • What current efforts seek to link the descendants of former slaves, slave traders, and slave holders? What are their aims, mechanisms, and outcomes?
  • What current efforts seek to link former countries and regions that participated most actively in the slave trade? What are their aims, mechanisms, and outcomes?

See our suggested Style Guidelines (www.raceethnicity.org/styleguide.html) and please feel free to contact our managing editor, Leslie Shortlidge (shortlidge.2@osu.edu), with any questions or concerns about submitting your work.

Submission of artwork for the cover that relates to the theme of the issue is welcome. See website at http://www.raceethnicity.org/coverart.html for submission guidelines.

Artwork by Haitian-American artist Rejin Leys.

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