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Date: Mar 21, 2019

Lecture: The Liberated Africans: Slavery, Freedom and Dependency in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Lecture: Professor Beatriz Mamigonian, 02/04/2019,

 

Professor Beatriz Mamigonian 

The Liberated Africans: Slavery, Freedom and Dependency in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic

The Liberated Africans were a dependent group distinguished from slaves and freed person and an interesting case to think about Atlantic categories of dependency that intertwine issues of race, gender, and colonialism. Liberated Africans were the 11 thousand men, women and children freed from slave ships and submitted to compulsory labor between 1821 and 1864, but also, according to a “radical” reading of the Brazilian abolition law of 1831, all the 800 thousand Africans who were brought in Brazilian territory by contraband until the early 1850s and illegally held as slaves. The political and diplomatic conflicts over the enforcement of suppressive measures from the 1830s through the 1850s and the political conundrum resulting from the legal challenges to illegal enslavement from the 1860s through the 1880s frame and distinguish the experience of the liberated Africans in Brazil from that of liberated Africans elsewhere in the Atlantic.

Professor Beatriz Mamigonian specialized on research about the Liberated Africans. Her most recent book Africanos livres: a abolição do tráfico de escravos no Brasil (2017) reconstitutes the individual and collective experience of the Liberated Africans from the seizure and emancipation from slave ships, to their assignment, compulsory labor and final emancipation, thanks to unusually rich nominal records from the Brazilian government. The British viewed the recaptives from the slave trade as the human face of the suppression activities and a symbol of the abolitionist efforts. In Brazil, however, Liberated Africans’prospects of living in freedom were considerably restricted by the extensive contraband. The political and diplomatic conflicts over the enforcement of suppressive measures from the 1830s through the 1850s and the political conundrum resulting from the legal challenges to illegal enslavement from the 1860s through the 1880s frame and distinguish the experience of the liberated Africans in Brazil from that of the other groups elsewhere in the Atlantic. In the book, the “liberated African question” serves as a new lens to view slavery, abolition, compulsory labor and dependency structures in nineteenth century Brazil. 

*Beatriz Mamigonian completed her PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 2002. Since then, she is a fulltime professor at the History Department of the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, in Brazil. She was also a visiting professor at the History Department of Michigan State University during the Fall Semester of 2008. During her career, she received many grants and fellowships that allowed her to conduct research and build a network worldwide, in countries such as the United States and France. She has published extensively on issues such as slavery and the “liberated Africans” in nineteenth-century Brazil. Alongside her academic production, she also engaged in public history projects, such as historical research for documentaries and the creation of touristic itineraries of “Black Santa Catarina” in order to make visible the history of Africans in Brazilian southern regions.


When: April 2nd, 17:30-19:30

Where: Genscherallee 2, 53113 Bonn

Contact name: Dra. Mariana Dias Paes

Contact e-mail: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]

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