Conference: Human Trafficking in Early America

Call for Papers

Human Trafficking in Early America

23-25 April 2015

An interdisciplinary conference hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, and co-sponsored by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the Department of History at Drew University.

Co-organizers: Richard Bell (Maryland) and Sharon Braslaw Sundue (Drew)

Keynote Speaker: Edward E. Baptist (Cornell)

The United Nations defines “human trafficking” as the act of “recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.”

In early America, human trafficking took many forms, engaging and displacing native, African and European populations in every decade and in every colony and state. Drawing upon a wave of new scholarship on Indian captivity, the middle passage, the domestic slave trade, child abduction and sex trafficking, this conference offers a timely opportunity to examine the cultures and shadow economies created by and elaborated around forced migration in North America and the Atlantic world before 1860.

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