Beyond Memory, Towards Action: Reparations for Slavery

Project Details


1. To bring academics and non-academic stakeholders (notably activists, curators, government-linked groups and the media) into dialogue through a three-day networking event designed to share knowledge concerning the possibility of reparations for slavery from multiple national and global perspectives. This event will additionally allow me to place my own research on memories of slavery and reparations in France into an overtly cross-disciplinary and international context. The event will be hosted within the context of the 150th anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the US in 1865.
2. To develop long-term research and KE partnerships with activists, curators and government-linked groups (notably the Caricom Reparations Committee) involved in reparations for, and memories of, slavery as an expansion of my current research project funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship grant. In addition, to continue developing good working relations with local rights-based groups, such as the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (a key agency that is working to eliminate racial discrimination and promote racial justice across Scotland) by working with them to coordinate events during and beyond Black History Month (October).
3. To encourage future collaborative work within the CHSS by offering a key opportunity to bring colleagues together from a variety of research specialisms, centres and schools, including the Division of European Languages and Cultures, the Global Justice Academy, the Centre for African Studies and the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies. This event builds on pre-existing links with these research centres following a speculative lunch that I organized through IASH in November 2014.
4. To increase the public profile of my research by connecting this event to Black History Month and to offer the same opportunity to others by using the event to attract media attention and public engagement through podcasts and post-event publications in relevant magazines.
5. To use this event as a catalyst for further funding applications, such as the AHRC Follow-on Funding Scheme. Future funds will be sought for the creation of an international website featuring an interactive map that charts global activism around legacies of slavery. This website will significantly expand the scope of a website that is currently under construction for French activists as part of my existing AHRC grant. This will not only be used to encourage future knowledge exchange and interdisciplinary dialogue between academics and non-academic stakeholders or practitioners, but will also to create a network of expertise capable of responding to and shaping the reparations debate. It is therefore intended that this will form the basis of an impact narrative for the 2020 REF that intends to affect changes in public opinion and potentially affect policy changes at government level by repositioning reparations as key social justice issue for racial equality.

Layman's description

This project brings academics, activists, curators, government-linked groups and the media together for a three-day networking event designed to stimulate debate and incite discussion over the effects of slavery on contemporary society and practical ways to repair the past beyond that of commemoration and memorialization. Linked to the UK’s Black History Month and set within the timely context of the 150th anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment that abolished slavery in the US (1865), this event will create a conversation forum in which to explore reparations from multiple international and disciplinary perspectives, and will subsequently lead to the creation of an active community of researchers and non-academic stakeholders capable of developing collaborative knowledge about reparations and the legacies slavery on contemporary society.
Effective start/end date1/02/1530/11/15


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