Upcoming Event, March 21, 2013, 5:30-7pm: “I Have Known Rivers”: Ceremony to honor the Men, Women, and Children forced into the Middle Passage and the Struggles of Africans and African Descendants throughout the World

The College of Charleston and the Jubilee Project are proud to welcome the 39th annual conference of the African Literature Association to Charleston, SC from March 20-24, 2013. This conference will include a public ceremony event on March 21, 2013, from 5:30-7 pm to simultaneously commemorate a number of significant anniversaries in the history of Africans and African descendants throughout the world. This ceremony will include poetry readings and musical performances, and is free and open to the public. It will be held at the north end of Brittlebank Park in Charleston, SC. Highlights include poetry readings and musical performances.

2013 and March 21st anniversary events to commemorate include:

On January 1st, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring enslaved people in Confederate-held territory to be “forever free,” came into effect. In January 1963, during the height of the twentieth century  U.S. Civil Rights movement, Charleston native Harvey Gantt became the first African American to be admitted to Clemson University. In August and September 1963, respectively, the University of South Carolina and Charleston County public schools admitted their first African American students since the end of Reconstruction. August 1963 saw two almost simultaneous events that show the length of African Americans’ struggle for full emancipation and the connection of that struggle with African liberation struggles: the march on Washington of August 28th which gave us Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech was preceded the day earlier by the death of W.E.B. Du Bois in Ghana. By that date, 32 of Africa’s nations were formally independent with more than 20 still under European colonial or settler control.

The date of this ceremony, March 21st, has similar local and global resonance. On March 21st, 1865, the first Emancipation Parade in Charleston occurred. The parade featured over 4,000 people, including in the words of the Charleston Courier “a company of school boys” proclaiming: ‘We know no masters but ourselves,’” as well as a carriage with a mock slave auction followed by a carriage decked out as a hearse carrying the coffin of slavery. The hearse bore the inscriptions: “Slavery is Dead,” “Who Owns Him? No One,” and “Sumter Dug his Grave on the 13th of April, 1861.” Thousands of miles away and nearly a hundred years later, on March 21st, 1963, police in Sharpeville, South Africa opened fire on a crowd protesting apartheid-era pass laws, killing 69 and wounding hundreds. The massacre was a watershed event in South African history heralding the darkest decades of the apartheid era but also inspiring the resistance that would eventually lead to apartheid’s formal demise.

What these dates indicate is that, while it is appropriate to commemorate  the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 50th anniversaries of key moments in the Civil Rights movement and the African liberation struggle, Emancipation is not an event but an ongoing process that must  be vigilantly defended and consolidated. In that spirit we will gather at the river on whose banks kidnapped Africans were once disembarked as chattel slaves, to commemorate the  Africans and African-descended people who have risen out of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, colonialism and apartheid, and, despite the manifold forms of racism, have survived, thrived. and enriched the world around them.

Simon Lewis

For more information, please contact Simon Lewis at lewiss@cofc.edu


Teaching the New History of Emancipation Workshop Update!

Please download the updated program for the Teaching the New History of Emancipation workshop here!

This day long workshop on February 1,2013 at the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library is for high school educators, heritage workers, and research historians to discuss recent scholarship on Emancipation and public education. Features historian Eric Foner and scholars from the After Slavery Project. Register by contacting: carolinateachersworkshop@gmail.com

Race, Gender, and Sexualities in the Atlantic World

On March 9-11, 2012 the Program in the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) at the College of Charleston will host an international conference addressing women, gender, and sexuality in the Atlantic World 1500-Present. The featured keynote speaker is Jennifer L. Morgan (New York University).  Conference registration is now open.  For registration information or for a full conference schedule, please visit the conference homepage.

CFP: South Carolina Historical Association 2012 Annual Meeting

The 2012 annual meeting of the SCHA will be held March 3 at the S.C. Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S.C.

Since 1931 the South Carolina Historical Association has held an annual meeting bringing historians of all backgrounds together. Although it originates in South Carolina, the Association encourages historians to submit papers on topics ranging from Southern and American history to African, European, and Asian histories. Furthermore it encourages other topics that can include history of education, science, and religion. Since its inception eighty years ago, historians have contributed papers on these and other wide ranging topics. The annual meeting provides opportunities for historians of all interests to learn from each other and share their research interests.   In the Association’s first annual meeting the topics ranged from the British South African Company, Electoral Corruption in England to the Granger Movement in South Carolina.  Proposals for complete sessions should include three and no more than four papers. Presentations are limited to twenty minutes. Papers presented are eligible for peer review for publication in the association’s journal, Proceedings. Undergraduates and their faculty mentors are welcome and will be grouped in separate sessions to the best possible extent.  All participants must be members of the SCHA. For membership dues and privileges please see http://www.palmettohistory.org/scha/htm.

Send proposals and c.v. electronically to Fritz Hamer, Ph.D. at fphamer@mailbox.sc.edu or mail to

South Caroliniana Library,
University of South Carolina,
Columbia, SC  29208.

Deadline for proposals is 16 December 2011. Accepted proposals will be notified by 3 January. Deadline for submitting papers to session chairs is 3 February 2012.

CLAW CFP: Race, Gender and Sexualities in the Atlantic World Conference

March 9-11, 2012: Race, Gender, and Sexualities in the Atlantic World

Proposals Due: December 2, 2011

The Carolina Lowcountry in the Atlantic World Program (CLAW) at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC invites paper proposals addressing women, gender, and sexuality in the Atlantic World 1500-Present. The featured keynote speaker is Jennifer L. Morgan (New York University). We invite scholars to submit proposals for individual papers and panels that might address such questions as:

  • Performances of Gender
  • Gender and Discovery
  • Colonialism
  • Constructions of Sexualities
  • Native American Contact
  • Race and Gender
  • African Diaspora and Slavery

 As with previous successful CLAW program events the conference will be run in a seminar style: accepted participants will be expected to send completed papers to the organizers in advance of the conference itself (by March 1st, 2012) for circulation via password-protected site. At the conference itself presenters will talk for no more than ten minutes about their paper, working on the assumption that everyone has read the paper itself. This arrangement means that papers may be considerably lengthier and more carefully argued than the typical 20-minute presentation; and it leads to more substantive, better informed discussion. It also generally allows us to move quite smoothly toward publication of a selection of essays with the University of South Carolina Press.

 Proposals for individual papers should be 200 words, and should be accompanied by a brief one-page biographical statement indicating institutional affiliation, research interests, and relevant publishing record for each participant, including chairs and commentators. Please place the panel proposal, and its accompanying paper proposals and vitas in one file. Please submit your proposal electronically with CLAW conference in the subject line to the conference chair, Dr. Sandra Slater at slaters@cofc.edu by December 2, 2011.

 If you wish to send a proposal for a 3 or 4 person panel, please send a 300 to 500 word proposal describing the panel as a whole as well as proposals for each of the individual papers, along with biographical statements for each of the presenters. The organizers reserve the right to accept individual papers from panel proposals, to break up panels, and to add papers to panels. Notification of acceptance will be sent by January 31st, 2012.

CFP: ‘Triumph in my Song’: 18th & 19th Century African Atlantic Culture, History & Performance

The Society of Early Americanists and the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland invite proposals for this exciting interdisciplinary conference, May 31-June 2, 2012.  The conference will be held in the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Maryland, College Park (just outside Washington, DC). 


FOR COMPLETE CFP AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION PLEASE GO TO: http://www.societyofearlyamericanists.org/conferences.html

CFP: 2012 Southern Historical Association

CfP: 2012 Southern Historical Association — Reminder with Revised Submission Deadline (9/15)

The Program Committee for the 2012 conference of the Southern Historical Association invites proposals on all topics related to the history of the American South from its pre-colonial era to today. In addition, for the 2012 meeting in Mobile, it extends a special welcome to proposals relating to:

 * Mobile and the Gulf South (including its relation to the Caribbean and N. American interior)

* International, transnational, or comparative approaches to the American South

* 2012 as an anniversary of major historical events, publications, etc. (For example: War of 1812, Civil War 1862, Election of Woodrow Wilson 1912; Equal Rights Amendment 1972-1982. Or, the historical context for the 2012 Presidential Election and the American South).

The Program Committee accepts proposals for single papers but encourages session proposals that include two or three papers.

According to SHA policy, no one who appeared on the previous two programs, those at Charlotte and Baltimore, can be part of the program in Mobile. No two people from the same institution can be on the same session.

NOTE: New Policy regarding composition of proposals for the 2012 Program: Those submitting proposals should include suggestions of people who would be appropriate as commentators/chairs but not issue invitations. The Program Committee will select and invite a chair and usually two commentators.

DEADLINE: The deadline for proposals this year is September 15, 2011.

All 2012 proposals must be submitted online: http://www.uga.edu/sha/meeting/index.htm

If you are interested in submitting a session for the Latin American and Caribbean Section, please visit their web site: http://ww2.tnstate.edu/lacs/

2012 Program Committee Co-Chairs: Don Doyle and Marjorie Spruill, University of South Carolina don.doyle@sc.edu marjorie.spruill@sc.edu

Call for Papers: Converse College Conference on Southern Culture

High Culture/Low Culture, Southern Culture

April 11 – 14, 2012

Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the Converse College Conference on Southern Culture.


The focus of this conference is the “big picture” of southern culture, from okra to opera. We are particularly interested in the intersections of “high” and “low” culture in the South, and the ways in which the rich working class and folk elements of southern culture have, in many instances, been reinterpreted, and, some might argue, appropriated, by more traditionally high cultural mediums.  We invite papers that examine the unique qualities of diverse southern cultures, interrogate the threads that bind these cultures together, and, we anticipate, propose divergent ways of thinking about the South.


The academic conference will be a key component in a weeklong conversation about modern southern culture that will include featured speakers, panel discussions, literary readings and musical performances.


Writers Lee Smith and Hal Crowther will be the keynote speakers.  We invite papers from scholars and professionals working in the fields of Literary Studies, History, Religion, performing arts, and southern foodways, and we hope to use conference papers as the basis for scholarly collection of essays. This conference will continue a proud tradition of “studying the South” at Converse College.  In the spring of 1962, the Southern Literary Festival met at Converse and featured Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, and Cleanth Brooks, among others.  On the fiftieth anniversary of that event, we propose to examine, not just southern literature, but the wide range of elements of southern culture.


Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Religious traditions in the south
  • High southern church/low southern church Non-Christians in the south
  • Contemporary southern drama, or the lack of it
  • Visual arts
  • Food security issues in the modern rural south
  • Images of the south in popular culture
  • Urban/agrarian/southern
  • Folk arts
  • The role of food in southern culture:  church, family, community, etc.
  • Women are cooks and men are chefs:  gender and food
  • Why not southern?  Does regional mean provincial? Or does it mean a strong sense of place?
  • Southern cuisine as haute cuisine
  • The evolving role of race in shaping southern culture
  • Immigrants and southern culture
  • Southern musical traditions


Please send 250 word abstract as an email attachment, along with a brief CV (Word or PDF, please) to:


Anita Rose, Conference Co-chair
Associate Professor and Chair of the English Dept.
E-mail:  Anita.rose@converse.edu


Deadline: November 1, 2011

Jews, Slavery and the Civil War Conference

The Yaschik/Arnold Jewish Studies Program and the new Center for Southern Jewish Culture at the College of Charleston are pleased to announce a two-day conference on “Jews, Slavery and the Civil War” to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the conflict. The conference will cover a range of themes including Jewish attitudes toward and involvement in slavery and abolition, Jewish soldiering and wartime service, the Jewish experience on the home front, the impact of the war on Jewish identity and institutions, the post-war experience of Jewish veterans, Jews and Reconstruction, and Jewish commemoration and memorialization. For more information, contact Dr. Adam Mendelsohn at 843-953-2036 or mendelsohna@cofc.edu.

A complete schedule is available at http://jewish.cofc.edu/events/index.php.