Black Resistance and Negotiation in Latin America Colloquium: Runaway Slave Communities


A Colloquium at the University of Alabama at Birmingham7-8 October 2016
Sponsored by The Alabama Humanities Foundation and Vanderbilt University3 (2)

Come learn about the African presence in Latin America from internationally-recognized experts, including professors and UNESCO representatives. There will be a 12:00 Friday keynote in which you will hear directly from the descendants of escaped Colombian slaves before enjoying a community reception. Vanderbilt Professor William Luis’s keynote at 12:00 on Saturday will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Americas’ last slave narrative, Cuba’s Biography of a Runaway Slave. Most talks are given in English and all are free and open to the public.

The event’s theme will be “Runaway Slave Communities.” The interdisciplinary colloquium examines maroon communities in Latin America in an effort to reassess the concept of “maroonage,” escaping slavery, negotiation with slave-based and racist systems, and resistance against oppression from colonial times to the new context of our globalized world. Taking as point of departure recent linguistic, historical, archeological and anthropological studies, the colloquium will problematize the idea of “resistance” within Afro-diasporic studies at large, thus including material culture, social movements, visual and cultural studies, and postcolonial migrations. The proposed conference is timely, as it is in line with UNESCO’s designation of 2015-2024 as the Decade of the Afrodescendant, bringing together representatives and works from various regions of Latin America. The colloquium will officially launch a special issue of the prestigious academic journal The Afro-Hispanic Review with sponsorship from Vanderbilt University. National and international experts from a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences will share their work. Your participation will bring departments and disciplines together to generate new ideas on black identity and struggles for survival and justice throughout the Americas in the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement.

Hosted by University of Alabama at Birmingham and co-sponsored by Vanderbilt University and the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Co-Organizers: John Maddox (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Graciela Maglia (Instituto Caro y Cuervo)