History, memory and commemoration

224, Arts building, Danford Room
Arts and Law, Research, Students, Teaching
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 (17:00-19:00)
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Speaker: Jon-Georg Deutch (Oxford)

This paper examines the different ways in which slavery is remembered in contemporary Africa. The paper is based on fieldwork in East Africa, but the findings are compared with the emerging secondary literature that focuses on West and South Africa. The paper shows that memory and commemoration are frequently driven by present-day concerns and often have little grounding in the past. However, the past has not completely vanished, but reveals itself not so much in the content but in the manner of memorialisation. This in turn reflects the specific history of slavery and abolition that is embodied in each region. In short, the paper seeks to explore the argument that different forms of slavery and abolition have produced a broad range of practices of memory and commemoration.