Please submit paper proposals for a panel on contemporary slavery at the Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association ("The United States from Inside and Out: Transnational American Studies"); October 12 - 15, 2006, Oakland, California.
There are 27 million slaves alive today – more than at any point in history. This panel will discuss modern slavery in relation to the "United States from Inside and Out," this year's conference theme. 140 years after the Emancipation Proclamation thousands of slaves are trafficked into the US every year and this panel examines a very different kind of transnational exchange to the more obvious "cultural exchanges" implicit in the conference theme - that of people for money, around the world.
Papers might examine the rhetoric of contemporary abolition, or the ideas of freedom explored in contemporary slave narratives. They might look at the geographical, social and historical background of contemporary slavery, or seek to explain slavery’s economic and political causes. They might set slavery in the context of human rights legislation. They might lay out the role of globalization, the population explosion, organized crime, and the complicity of governments and corporations. Or they might define this new slavery: does this include prison labor, all forms of child labor, or extreme poverty and sweat-shop labor? And in examining "types" of slavery, should we address the issue of child slavery differently? Or sex slavery? They might discuss the difference between enslavement out of freedom and hereditary slavery, or explore whether this new slavery is as racialized as historic American chattel slavery. Are race, caste, tribe, and religion markers of slavery today? What are the similarities and differences between today's slavery and that of nineteenth-century America?
These topics or any others are welcome. The panel welcomes submissions from academics, abolitionists, human rights activists and all other social activists, community members, secondary school teachers, journalists, creative writers and artists.
Please submit short proposals and a brief biographical paragraph by January 5, 2006. Early submissions encouraged.
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