Events

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to cancel an array of events planned in 2020. Please find below information on some webinars that we’re organising in the meantime.

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An Abolitionist’s Diaries: Rethinking William Wilberforce

Wilberforce Institute Webinar, Thursday 10 December 2020, 4-6PM GMT

Professor John Coffey

University of Leicester

William Wilberforce kept diaries between 1779 and the year of his death, 1833. Altogether, they ran to over a million words, though some volumes are no longer extant – the total word count of the surviving diaries is c. 825,000 words. Most are held in Oxford  at the Bodleian Library, though the largest volume (c.150,000 words) is in Wilberforce House Museum. The abolitionist’s sons reproduced c.100,000 words from the diaries in the 1838 biography of their father, and historians have rarely ventured beyond these extracts to the original manuscripts, written in Wilberforce’s sometimes indecipherable hand. The Wilberforce Diaries Project is preparing the first scholarly edition for Oxford University Press, and in this seminar John Coffey will be introducing the manuscripts and asking how the diaries might reshape our understanding of Wilberforce and British abolitionism.

Professor Coffey’s research has focused on various facets of Anglophone Protestant culture. He has a particular expertise in seventeenth-century Puritanism and the English Revolution and has published widely in this area. His most recent book is Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr. (Oxford University Press, 2013).

To register for this free event, please click on the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4614890404820629008

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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The Yellow Demon of Fever: Fighting Disease in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Slave Trade

Wilberforce Institute Webinar, Thursday 12 November 2020, 4-6PM GMT

Professor Manuel Barcia

Chair of Global History

University of Leeds

Join us on Thursday 12 November 4-6PM GMT for our latest Wilberforce Institute Webinar. In this webinar Professor Manuel Barcia, Chair of Global History at the University of Leeds, will talk about the subject of his new book, The Yellow Demon of Fever: Fighting Disease in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Slave Trade. Professor Barcia’s expertise in slavery is wide ranging, from piracy to medical history, and he has published monographs on slave rebellion, the Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 and slave soldiers in the Atlantic World to great critical acclaim. The Yellow Demon of Fever, published earlier this year, is a pathbreaking history of how participants in the slave trade influenced the growth and dissemination of medical knowledge in the nineteenth century.

To register for this free event, please click on the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8143266098419797005

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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The Alderman Sydney Smith Annual Lecture: Rethinking British Anti-Slavery

Wilberforce Institute Webinar, Thursday 15 October 2020, 4-6PM BST

Professor Catherine Hall

Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History

University College London

John Oldfield

Professor of Slavery and Emancipation

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull

Join us on Thursday 15 October at 4pm for our annual Alderman Sydney Smith Lecture. This year Professor John Oldfield, former Director of the Wilberforce Institute, is joined by Professor Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London, and principal investigator of the Legacies of British Slave Ownership Project.  Professor Oldfield, a specialist in the history of abolition, will reconsider British Anti-Slavery, and Professor Hall will offer a response. As we draw ever nearer to 2033 and the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean, Professor Oldfield argues that there is a pressing need to re-evaluate British anti-slavery. In his lecture, he will map out some of the challenges facing scholars and practitioners, drawing particular attention to recent historiographical trends in the UK and the USA. ‘Distilling all of this work emphasises the need for a more “integrated” history of British anti-slavery that not only takes into account black agency but also pro-slavery ideology and culture, transatlanticism and the wider world outside Westminster.’

To register for this free event, please click on the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4356875706984109582

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Not Made By Slaves: Ethical Capitalism in the Age of Abolition Webinar

Thursday September 10, 2020

4PM to 6PM BST

At this webinar hosted by the University of Hull’s Wilberforce Institute, Dr. Richard Huzzey, Reader in Modern British History from Durham University, will chair a discussion about ethical capitalism in the age of abolition.

Dr. Bronwen Everill, the Class of 1973 Lecturer in History and a fellow of Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge, will be talking about her new book, Not Made By Slaves: Ethical Capitalism in the Age of Abolition, followed by a reply from Professor John Oldfield, Professor of History at the University of Hull and former Director of the Wilberforce Institute, and Professor Suzanne Schwarz, Professor of History at the University of Worcester.

Bronwen’s book looks at how some merchants in Britain, America, and West Africa sought to use consumer power to challenge Atlantic slavery. In the process, these businesses encountered a variety of ethical dilemmas that stemmed from the cross-cultural nature of trade with West Africa, ranging from deciding what kinds of goods could be ethical, to how to detect fraud in ethical trade, to how to pay for goods ethically, to how to use government influence to shape ethical commerce policies. Firms like Macaulay & Babington and Brown & Ives promoted an influential middlebrow economic philosophy that ultimately advocated for a global division of land and labour that would be of most benefit to the ethical consumers, rather than producers. The book places the politics of antislavery firmly in the history of capitalism by linking commercial ethical decisions to larger developments in the political economy of imperialism and nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century.

Please register for Wilberforce Institute Webinar – Not Made By Slaves: Ethical Capitalism in the Age of Abolition on Sep 10, 2020 4:00 PM BST at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7678818093045905932

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Tacky’s Revolt Webinar

On Thursday 23 July 5-7pm, the Wilberforce Institute will host a round table of distinguished international experts on the causes and consequences of Tacky’s Revolt from 1760 in Jamaica.

This revolt was the largest slave revolt in the eighteenth century British empire and one of the most important slave revolts in history. It played an important role in galvanising opposition to slavery in Britain. 

The panel will include:

Professor Vincent Brown (Harvard University), 

Associate Professor Edward Rugemer (Yale University), 

Associate Professor Lissa Bollettino (Framingham State University), 

Assistant Professor Robert Hanserd (Columbia College Chicago),

Professor Trevor Burnard (Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull).

Please use this link to register.