24. May 2024

Juneteenth Lecture "Enslaved Females in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century North America: Examining the Fugitive Slave Archive" Juneteenth Lecture by Charmaine A. Nelson

By Charmaine A. Nelson

The scholarship on transatlantic slavery has long benefited from the often-exhaustive data published in the fugitive slave archive. Ubiquitous throughout the transatlantic world, fugitive slave advertisements were commonly placed by enslavers seeking to recapture enslaved people who resisted through flight. Such notices commonly provided specific, invasive detail about an enslaved person’s body, dress, skills, languages, and even gestures and mannerisms. Although enslaved females standardly comprised a smaller percentage of runaways, nevertheless, the fugitive notices that do exist for female freedom seekers shed light on their lives and experiences. Through an examination of the fugitive slave archive and other sources, this lecture seeks to fill some of the scholarly gaps on the experiences of enslaved females of African descent in Canada. More specifically, it will offer some distinctions between the lives and experiences of enslaved females in slave minority (temperate) and slave majority (tropical) sites in the British transatlantic world.

Juneteenth 2024
Juneteenth 2024 © AmerikaHaus NRW
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Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson, Provost Professor of Art History, Department of History of Art and Architecture and Director of the Slavery North Initiative, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Date and Time: 19 June 2024 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with reception to follow (until 9 p.m.)

Venue: Bonner Universitätsforum, Heussallee 18-24, 53113 Bonn

Registration: juneteenthlecture2024.eventbrite.de (organized by Amerikahaus NRW)

Hosting Organizations: Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, North American Studies Program at the University of Bonn, Amerikahaus NRW

The event is organized at the BCDSS by Luvena Kopp (BCDSS Lecturer) and Prof. Dr. Pia Wiegmink (BCDSS Professor).


Lecturer's Bio:
Charmaine A. Nelson is a Provost Professor of Art History in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and Director of the Slavery North Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Black Maple Magazine, one of the only national platforms aimed at black Canadians. From 2020–2022, she was a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Transatlantic Black Diasporic Art and Community Engagement at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) in Halifax, Canada where she founded the first-ever institute focused on the study of Canadian Slavery. She also worked at McGill University (Montreal) for seventeen years (2003–2020). Nelson has made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of the Visual Culture of Slavery, Race and Representation, Black Diaspora Studies, and Black Canadian Studies. She has published seven books including The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (2007), Slavery, Geography, and Empire in Nineteenth-Century Marine Landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica (2016), and Towards an African Canadian Art History: Art, Memory, and Resistance (2018). She is actively engaged with lay audiences through her media work including ABC, CBC, CTV, and City TV News, The Boston Globe, BBC One’s "Fake or Fortune," and PBS’ "Finding your Roots." She has blogged for Huffington Post Canada and written for The Walrus. In 2017, she was the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University and in 2021 a Fields of the Future Fellow at Bard Graduate Center (NYC). In 2022, she was inducted as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and elected as a Member of the American Antiquarian Society.


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