Robert Wedderburn and the ‘Red and Black Atlantic’: Radicalism, Insurrection, Anti-Slavery – CALL FOR PAPERS

Date / time: 15 June, 11:59 pm

Robert Wedderburn and the 'Red and Black Atlantic': Radicalism, Insurrection, Anti-Slavery - CALL FOR PAPERS


Conference | 27-28 September 2024 | University of Dundee

Robert Wedderburn and the ‘Red and Black Atlantic’: Radicalism, Insurrection, Anti-Slavery

Call for Papers, deadline – 15 June 2024

2024 marks the bi-centenary of the publication of Robert Wedderburn’s unsparing antislavery memoir The Horrors of Slavery (1824).

This conference uses the occasion to revisit Wedderburn as a crucial figure in transatlantic radicalism, insurrectionism, and abolitionism, exploring not only his works and their importance but the broader “Red and Black Atlantic” of which he was a part.

This includes the people, ideas and cultures that shaped Wedderburn’s life and work through slavery and resistance; the influence of his mother Rosanna and maternal grandmother Talky Amy; theological and political liberation; the politics of abolition from below; gender, sexuality and resistance; and the connection between working class and anti-slavery cultures across the Atlantic world. Beyond the individual, we will also explore the resonances of such themes in the 200 years since publication.

We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations of any format, as well as traditional 20-minute papers and pre-formed panels of three. We especially encourage submissions from early-career researchers and scholars working outside universities.

Possible themes for papers include, but are not limited to:

  • Wedderburn’s life, work, legacy, and contemporary relevance for modern radical and antiracist movements
  • Rosanna, Talky Amy and genealogies of resistance
  • Radical and resisting women
  • The relationship between radicalism and antislavery in the Atlantic world
  • Insurrectionary traditions in the Caribbean and British islands
  • British working-class and labour cultures in colonial contexts
  • Class, race, and gender dynamics of popular uprisings
  • Complications and nuances of transatlantic resistance and solidarity between enslaved and labouring people
  • The regional and global ramifications of the Haitian Revolution and other Caribbean wars for freedom, e.g. Tacky’s War
  • Local intellectual milieux for Wedderburn e.g. Kingston, Edinburgh, London
  • Visions for decolonisation and anticolonialism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Caribbean

The organisers envisage that the papers delivered at this conference will form the basis for a special issue of a journal.

To propose a paper or panel, please send an abstract of around 250 words per presentation to before midnight on 15 June 2024.