Princeton Theological Seminary and joint sponsors Howard University School of Divinity and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) are calling for individual and panel paper proposals for a virtual conference, titled “‘The Troubles I’ve Seen’: Religious Dimensions of Slavery and Its Afterlives.” The event will examine the long-term effects of the enslavement of Africans in America from a unique perspective of the religious and theological dynamics. The conference will be held October 22-23.
Leading the planning at Princeton Seminary are conveners Afe Adogame, Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Religion and Society, and Gordon Mikoski, associate professor of Christian Education. “Recent public discourse on the afterlives of slavery often ignore the religious dimension,” says Adogame. “The institutions of Christianity and Islam, and their adherents, need to be better understood against the historical backdrop of their endorsement and complicity, as well as denial and resistance to slavery.”
“We plan to virtually assemble scholars and experts from around the country and world not to lament over past sins, but to uncover and understand the ramifications of slavery that touches the many facets of industry, politics, and culture in America today that are often masked, ignored, denied, or simply unknown because the dots haven’t been connected,” says convener Yolanda Pierce, professor and dean of Howard University School of Divinity. “It’s our vision that there will be a wide range of disciplines and topics covered that reflect just how deeply rooted and expansive are the effects of slavery that continue to manifest every day.”
Proposals should be in the format of a 250-word abstract, and submitted through the “Abstract Submission” link at https://afterlivesconference.ptsem.edu. The proposal submission deadline is May 15 and parties will be notified of acceptance on June 15.
The conference in October is the first of two on the topic. The second conference will center around the theme of the transatlantic impact of slavery and is expected to be held in Liberia in 2022.
“The transatlantic dimension is rarely discussed,” says Adogame. “The enduring impact of slavery can hardly be localized, but must be seen from its national, continental, but also transatlantic and transnational perspectives.”