Images of Present-Day Slavery


The Centre for the Study of the Literatures and Cultures of Slavery at Aarhus University (AU) presents its opening seminar— Images of Present-Day Slavery—on November 20, 2019, at Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 141, Aarhus, Denmark.

As many as 40 million people are today enslaved according to the International Labour Office. Either as forced labour in domestic work, construction or agriculture, in forced sexual exploitation, in forced labour imposed by state authorities, or in forced marriage. This seminar discusses the visibility or lack thereof of this hidden workforce of modernity in contemporary public representations, arts and literature. How are they represented and where do they get the chance to represent themselves? And how do representations of present-day slavery align and/or counter the structures of racism, capitalism and globalization that sustain enslavement?


13.00 Welcome, Mads Anders Baggesgaard, AU

13.15 “Representations of British new slaveries: Genres, tropes and critical paradigms,” Pietro Deandrea, Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures, University of Torino

14.00 Coffee break

14.15 “Discursive displacements: the language of slavery and its political echoes in West Africa,” Lotte Pelckmans, Heinz Heinen Fellow, Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies

15.00 “Narrating Slavery in the 21st Century: The Uses and Abuses of Survivor Testimony,” Laura Murphy, Professor of Human Rights and Contemporary Slavery, Sheffield Hallam University

16.00 Wine reception

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