The Slave’s Cause: A New History of Abolition

Wed 19 October 2016 18:00 – 19:30

“Without question, the most important liberation movement in American history… was the long struggle against slavery…. It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive history of the abolitionist movement than ‘The Slave’s Cause’… This is a full history of the men and women who truly made us free.”—New York Times review of Manisha Sinha’s 2016 book, ‘The Slave’s Cause: A New History of Abolition’

Please join the Department of American and Canadian Studies for its distinguished annual lecture, delivered this year by Professor Manisha Sinha, Draper Chair in American History, University of Connecticut, and a world-leading expert on the history of slavery and abolition.

Professor Manisha Sinha’s’ talk will offer a new history of Anglo-American abolition, arguing that abolitionism was a radical social movement. She will uncover the political significance of slave resistance in the growing radicalisation of the abolition movement. The talk will reject conventional historical divisions between slave resistance and antislavery activism, and challenge much of the received historical wisdom of abolitionists as bourgeois reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Expanding the chronology of abolition, she will also situate it transnationally and explore the impact of the Haitian Revolution, the European Revolutions of the 1830s and 1848, British Chartism, Irish Repeal, and the international peace movement on the politics and ideology of abolition. More broadly, this talk will interrogate how radical social movements like abolition provide political and ideological space for the disfranchised and become engines of political change.

Professor Sinha’s recent book ‘The Slave’s Cause’ has been reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Boston Globe among numerous other newspapers and journals. It was featured as the Editor’s Choice in the New York Times Book Review. Her first book ‘The Counterrevolution of Slavery’ was named one of the ten best books on slavery by Politico. Her other books include ‘African American Mosaic: A Documentary History from the African Slave Trade to the Twenty First Century,’ and ‘Contested Democracy: Freedom, Race and Power in American History.’ She has received the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honour bestowed on staff at her university, and the recipient of numerous fellowships, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African American Research at Harvard University, a Rockefeller Fellowship, and the President’s and Whiting fellowships from Columbia University. She was an adviser and on-screen expert for the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, ‘The Abolitionists’ (2013).

In collaboration with the Centre for Research in Race and Rights.

Free, all welcome, but please register.

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