SAWH Triennial Conference at the College of Charleston, June 11-14, 2015

From Thursday, June 11th to Sunday, June 14th, 2015, the College of Charleston will host the Southern Association of Women Historians’ (SAWH) Tenth Southern Conference on Women’s History. This year’s theme is “Re-membering/Gendering: Women, Historical Tourism, and Public History.” The conference is co-sponsored by Clemson University, The Citadel: Military College of South Carolina, and the College of Charleston.

This four-day conference will bring scholars from across the US South and the nation to Charleston to present on a wide range of topics. SAWH President, Lorri Glover, notes, “the research on the conference program is innovative and interdisciplinary, offering fresh insight into virtually every dimension of southern and gender history. The professional panels are as rich, speaking to the teaching, research, and career needs of our members.” Glover adds, “We come to SAWH for the intellectual stimulation and professional networking.”

SAWH was founded in 1970 and its membership includes over seven hundred women and men from around the world. The organization has several purposes: to stimulate interest in the study of southern history and women’s history, to advance the status of women in the historical profession in the US South, to provide a forum for women historians to discuss issues of professional concern, and to publicize and promote issues of concern to SAWH members.

Through funding support from the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program’s (CLAW) Wells Fargo Distinguished Public Lecture series, this year’s conference will feature three plenary sessions with distinguished scholars that are free and open to the public.


JUNE 11, 5:00 pm, Alumni House at The Citadel
Keynote Lecture: “The Limits of Commemoration: Civil Rights Memory and the Enduring Challenge of Innocence,” Renee Romano, PhD, Oberlin College
Overview: Recent decades have witnessed a flurry of commemorative activity about the black freedom struggle and the history of racial violence in the United States, from the building of museums and monuments to the marking of anniversaries and the celebration of holidays. At the same time, racial inequalities remain deep and pervasive, as does ra­cial violence in the form of police harassment and killing of people of color. In this keynote address, Renee Romano will bring togeth­er her work on historical memory and on civil rights-era violence to explore the relationship between commemoration and racial justice and to ask what role commemoration can play in helping achieve what James Baldwin described as one of the most powerful barriers to change: the willful ignorance of white Americans of the depth and extent of racism and racial violence in the nation’s history.


JUNE 12, 5:00 pm, Stern Center Ballroom at the College of Charleston

Plenary Lecture: “Making Public the Most Private: Children, Families, and Household as a Challenge to Historians,” Susan J. Pearson, PhD, Northwestern University; James D. Schmidt, PhD, Northern Illinois University; Marcia Chatelain, PhD, Georgetown University.

Overview: “Children, Families, Household as a Challenge to Historians” presents the experiences of historians uncovering the seemingly private spheres of home and family in various archives. By examining how the state and its institutions shape the inner lives of citizens, the panelists will engage the audience in strategies for uncovering these private stories.


JUNE 13, 5:00 pm, Stern Center Ballroom at the College of Charleston

Plenary Lecture: “Women, Historical Tourism, and Public History in the Lowcountry,” Katherine Mellen Charron, PhD, North Carolina State University; Leslie M. Harris, PhD, Emory University; Stephanie Yuhl, PhD, College of the Holy Cross.

Overview: In this plenary session, prominent scholars consider the role of gender, race, and class in representations of the Lowcountry region throughout a range of public history contexts. This discussion draws from each panelist’s research on Lowcountry history, from the colonial period to the twentieth century civil rights movement.


Registration to attend all panel sessions and presentations for the SAWH conference will be available onsite, at $100 for SAWH members, $150 for nonmembers, and $60 for graduate students. Please bring a check or exact change to the registration desk on the first floor of the Stern Center.

For a complete listing of SAWH 2015 Conference sessions and registration times, check out the program here. (

For more information about SAWH, check out their website here. (

Questions? Contact Megan Taylor Shockley,


CFP: “Soundscapes: Music from the African Atlantic, 1600-present,” March 7-9, 2014

The Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (CLAW) at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina invites paper proposals addressing the transnational and transcultural impacts of music throughout the Atlantic World for a conference to be held March 7-9, 2014.  We are especially interested in twentieth and twenty-first century music and cultural exchange, but the conference is open to any work that examines the movement of music in the Atlantic World from the 1600s to the present. We welcome a broad range of submissions, but especially encourage submissions that utilize an interdisciplinary approach.  Proposals may address any area of music in the Atlantic World. We invite scholars to submit proposals for individual papers and panels that address such questions as:

  • Tradition and modernity in popular and indigenous music in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa
  • Music, Race, and Empire
  • Jazz in a global context
  • Trans-Caribbean identities in Salsa, Reggae, and Calypso music
  • Pan-African Rhythms
  • Caribbean beats and protest music in the 1970s
  • The British Invasion and Rhythm and Blues in the United Kingdom
  • Hip Hop and political activism in Africa and the Caribbean
  • Race and Beach Music on the American Atlantic Coast
  • Musical culture and diaspora studies

Proposals Due:  Friday, December 6, 2013

All Presenters will be notified if their paper or panel has been accepted by December 22, 2013.  Presenters and participants are expected to register for the conference by February 7th, 2014.  Registration will open in October 2013.

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 February 28th, 2014) 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. John White at by December 6, 2013.

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 December 22nd, 2013.

CFP for The Global South Atlantic

CFP for The Global South Atlantic

Kerry Bystrom, Bard College and ECLA of Bard (
Joseph R. Slaughter, Columbia University (


Atlantic Studies, as a field of historical, literary, visual, economic, political and cultural analysis, has tended to focus on exchanges across the North Atlantic Ocean. Transformative studies like Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic (1992) opened the field to the South by demonstrating the centrality of the slave trade and the African diaspora to any understanding of the “Atlantic World.” Yet, even that South was largely situated in the North, around systems of circulation and exchange among Africa, North America, the Caribbean and Europe. Despite the rise in oceanic, hemispheric, and regional studies in the past decade, and despite the institutional transformations of Transatlantic, Black Atlantic and Diaspora studies, the South Atlantic has not emerged as a particularly potent conceptual or analytical configuration in cultural studies; nor has it emerged as a particularly coherent social and economic image-space in geopolitics.

In this volume of collected papers, we will explore different ways of positioning Atlantic Studies in relation to the Global South, and also reflect on the conditions of possibility and impossibility for the coming into being of spaces like the Global South Atlantic. We will focus on critically exploring how artists and intellectuals from the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and other Southern zones imagine the Atlantic. Of special concern is the way individuals, governments or political movements, social imaginaries, texts or other cultural artifacts, and markets do (or do not) cross the oceanic space between Africa, Latin America, and surrounding “Southern” regions; and the larger structures of knowledge and power that enable or inhibit these flows.

We invite papers that respond directly to the problem of the Global South Atlantic by focusing specifically on events, periods, and issues that establish and reconfigure relations among peoples around the South Atlantic: charter-company colonialism; the transatlantic slave trade and abolitionism; anti-colonialism and decolonization; tricontinentalism and the non-aligned movement; Cold War dictatorships, resource extraction, and human rights internationalism; indigenous movements and dirty wars; diasporas and exiled intellectuals; transitional justice and truth commissions; regional economic and security communities. In addition, we’re interested in theoretical and historical perspectives on the (South) Atlantic from the Global South. Specific questions of interest include:

• What and where is the (Global) South Atlantic? How is it possible to map it? To position ourselves in relation to it?

• In what ways have people from the “Global South” imagined and participated in creating something called “the Atlantic” or “the Atlantic world,” from the early modern period to the present? In what ways have they been excluded from this project?

• How might thinking about the South Atlantic, understood as that expanse between Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, or understood otherwise, alter current histories and theories of the Atlantic world?

• In what ways has the South Atlantic become an actually existing zone of commercial, military, scientific, intellectual, artistic or cultural navigation and exchange? What did these exchanges look like during 18th, 19th and 20th century colonialism and anti-colonialism? During the Cold War? What do they look like in our contemporary moment of neo-liberal capitalism and globalization?

• What role have discourses like those of environmental activism, human rights and humanitarianism, or national security doctrine and other forms of militarism (think of the North (and failed South) Atlantic Treaty Organization), played in shaping relations across the Atlantic?

• What kinds of “alternative solidarities” (Popescu, Tolliver and Tolliver)–those beyond ties created through the experience of slavery–have been formed across the Atlantic ocean between North and South or South and South? How are previous forms of transnational solidarity remembered or, conversely, to what ends are they forgotten?

• How does the question of the (Global) South Atlantic impact studies of slavery and the African diaspora it created?

• How might looking at something called the “South Atlantic” help us to understand the discursive formations of Oceanisms, regionalisms, area studies, hemispheric studies, postcolonialisms, and comparative literature?

One goal of the collection is to bring together scholars working in Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanic, and Lusophone literary and cultural studies, as well as researchers working in other languages–such as Arabic or indigenous languages–that are related to the (global) South Atlantic. We aim to balance contributions from these multiple linguistic areas.

Abstracts of 300 words and a short bio should be sent to both editors by September 30, 2013. Accepted authors will be notified by late October, and full drafts of accepted papers will be due by March 1, 2014. The editors plan to approach presses once the initial selection of papers has been completed.

Introductory Remarks from March 21st Ceremony at Brittlebank Ceremony to Honor the Middle Passage and struggles of African descendants

For those who were not able to able to attend, please see the following introductory comments presented by Drs. Simon Lewis and Anthonia Kalu at the opening of the Commemorative Ceremony held at Brittlebank Park in Charleston, SC on March 20, 2013, to honor the victims of the Middle Passage and the struggles of African descendants throughout the world.

Introduction at Brittlebank Ceremony,

ALA Charleston –March 21, 2013

Thank you, Helen and Ann for those moving introductions to today’s ceremony honoring the dead of the Middle Passage and the under-acknowledged contributions of generations of Africans and African-descended peoples in the Americas. On behalf of the ALA, the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services at the College of Charleston, and the Jubilee Project, thank you all for joining us on this historic occasion, and,  “Welcome all of you!” on this beautiful and peaceful evening in this beautiful place. This visit to Charleston’s Brittlebank Park resonates with a similar visit the ALA made when our annual conference took place in Dakar, Senegal in March 1989. On that occasion we made a pilgrimage to Goree, the most westerly point of the continent infamous for being the site of the “Door of No Return” from which untold thousands were crowded onto European slave-trading vessels and transported to the New World. That profoundly moving pilgrimage prompted one of our members, the poet Niyi Osundare to write the poem, “Goree” that will be the first of our readings this evening.  Our presence in this space twenty-four years later draws attention to the fact that for all its current beauty, this too is a place of memory, and a site of trauma.

Historians estimate that 40% of all Africans kidnapped and landed as slaves in continental North America, landed in this very city of Charleston, and just a mile or so upriver from here at Ashley Ferry River was one of the many sites around the city where men, women and children were sold directly from the boat. Although historic sites in this area and around the nation have expanded and enhanced their presentation of previously invisible histories of the African-American experience, there is still a considerable “acknowledgment gap” in the general public understanding that fails to give due consideration to African contributions to the physical and economic landscape of the new worlds they helped to build.  This acknowledgment gap, which as we shall hear later was so poetically and powerfully described more than a century ago by W.E.B. Du Bois, shows itself ironically in absences: of public memorials, of statuary, of street- and place-names honoring Africans or African Americans; in the absence even, as Toni Morrison has remarked, of such a humble thing as a bench by the road. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation of 150 years ago and the desegregation of public education here in SC that the Jubilee Project is commemorating, the consequences of two centuries of slavery followed by another hundred years of officially-sanctioned segregation are still with us. We believe that humanities scholars have a vital role in laying this history to rest. We believe that humanities scholars should lay this history to rest, not because it should be forgotten, but in order to relate to it in a fuller knowledge both of its historical facts and its contemporary implications. It goes without saying that such a commemoration is extremely uncomfortable and fraught with potential for misunderstanding and pain. That is one of the reasons why the Jubilee Project and this conference are seizing on the anniversaries of emancipation and desegregation as a catalyst for a critical commemorative process: these anniversaries enable us to confront squarely the history of slavery, resistance and abolition as part of the literature of liberation and the law in the story of America and the world. The commemoration of the expansion of freedom is the keynote of that narrative, and of the foundational place of Africans and African-descended people in that narrative.

Peter Wood uses the image of the hour-glass to describe Charleston’s role in the African Diaspora.  In thinking of Charleston as the birthplace of African America, one may think of the narrow harbor entrance in terms of another, more graphic, more somatic image — as the birth canal of African America.  In tonight’s commemorative ceremony, we remember not only the acute pain of that birth but we also salute African America’s contributions to local, regional, national, and international history, and the courage of all our ancestors who, in the words of Kwame Dawes’s poem, “straightened their backs” and “shouldered their burden” in the long, uneven, and often dangerous struggle for freedom.

Anthonia Kalu and Simon Lewis

African Literature Association- Charleston

March 2013

ALA T-Shirt Fundraiser!

The ALA 2013 conference is this week and as a special fundraiser t-shirts will be for sale at the conference!

That's a nice t-shirt!

That’s a nice t-shirt!

T-shirts are $20 and payments accepted are cash or check only, so come prepared!  All proceeds will benefit the ALA – show your support!


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


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:

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

Send proposals and c.v. electronically to Fritz Hamer, Ph.D. at 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.