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Evans-Pritchard Lectures - Rethinking emancipation from slavery in twentieth century Africa

Dr Benedetta Rossi


Wednesday, 4 May - 5:00pm



This lecture asks to what extent the abolition of the legal status of slavery actually contributed to the emancipation of male and female slaves in different African societies and when did other dynamics – such as the reconfiguration of economic and political opportunities – play a primary role. It discusses the state of the art in the study of African slavery, using case studies from selected African regions to illustrate the main themes, concepts, and methods in this research field. It argues that it is necessary to shift the inquiry from its current focus on the ‘slow death of slavery’ to an analysis of the simultaneous co-existence of abolitionist ideologies and worldviews in which slavery is seen as integral to the constitution of society.