Slavery, Compensation, and Reparations

Africana Studies Seminar

Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 9:00am
Collins Cinema, Collins Cafe

Specialists in the field convene to discuss British slavery, its impact upon the making of the Industrial Revolution and the moneys awarded to the slave holders after British slavery ended in 1833. Panelists will examine the current demand by the heads of state of 15 Caribbean nations for reparations from Europe for the enduring suffering inflicted by the European slave trade upon the people in the Caribbean.  Craig Murphy, the M. Margaret Ball Professor of  Political Science at Wellesley, is joined by Sir Hilary Beckles, Principal and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (Barbados); Nicholas Draper of the University College of London; Eric Graham, Edinburgh University; William Pettigrew, University of Kent; and Louis Lee Sing, former Mayor of Port of Spain, Trinidad.

This program is generously supported by the  Treves Fund.

About the speakers:

Craig Murphy (Wellesley College)

Murphy is interested in the politics of globalization and inequality. He studies these topics using archives, interviews, and direct observation of international development agencies. He teaches introductory courses on world politics, international political economy, and Africa's role in the world as well as advanced courses on global governances and the relations between rich and poor countries. He has worked on the UN staff, held visiting appointments at Brown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Wesleyan, and have been a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, and a visiting scholar at Stanford.

Sir Hilary Beckles (University of the West Indies)

In addition to being a distinguished University administrator, Beckles is an economic historian and specialist in higher education and development thinking and practice; and an internationally reputed historian. He is Vice President of the International Task Force for the UNESCO Slave Route Project; a consultant for the UNESCO Cities for Peace Global Programme; an advisor to the UN World Culture Report; and member of Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, Science Advisory Board on sustainable development.

Nicolas Draper (University College of London)

Prior to joining UCL as a doctoral candidate and then a Teaching Fellow, Nick worked in the City for 25 years. He is a research associate for Legacies of British Slave-Ownership and the co-director of the Structure and Significance of British Caribbean Slave-Ownership 1763-1833. His foundational analysis of the Slave Compensation records was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009 as The Price of Emancipation: Slave-Ownership, Compensation and British Society at the End of Slavery.

Eric Graham (Edinburgh University)

Graham is an Honorary Post Doctoral Fellow, Scottish Centre for the Diaspora, University of Edinburgh. His interests cover a spectrum of subjects related to the Scots and the sea - from their involvement in selling children as indentured servants to the West Indies, to blockade running with Clyde paddle steamers for the Confederates. His research Projects include: Historical Associate for Lloyd's Register of Shipping; Adviser to Historical Scotland on the Edinburgh Castle Vaults Exhibition; researcher for the Du Bois Institute (Harvard) Transatlantic Slavery Database; and research for Scottish Executive on the Bi-centennial anniversary of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade.

William Pettigrew (University of Kent)

Educated at Oxford and Yale, joined the School of History at Kent in September 2009 as Lecturer in History. Will's research is interested in the relationship between political and economic liberalism in the Atlantic world at the threshold of modernity. His doctoral dissertation narrates the political and economic aspects of the downfall of the Royal African Company, a joint-stock monopoly company formed to develop England's slave trade. It suggests that Atlantic trade helped enfranchise a group of merchants who deployed ideologies forged in a distinctive Atlantic context to justify the deregulation of the company's monopoly and `liberate? the trade in African slaves.