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Being Everybody’s Slaves. Public Slavery in Ancient and Modern World - 23-24/03/2018, Newcastle upon

The conference brings some of the most prominent experts of ancient and modern slavery to discuss central methodological issues and focus on the interpretation of the concept of ‘public’ slavery. Its remit goes well beyond Roman public slavery since encourages the collaboration between experts working on different historical periods. The conference aims to provide a methodologically up-to-date discussion of the nature of the phenomenon, introducing for the first time a theoretical and comparative approach encompassing public slavery in the Roman period as well as some early modern and modern manifestations of it.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 23-24/03/2018

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne (England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Dr Franco Luciani (Newcastle University)

INFO: web -




22nd March 2.00 p.m. – Franco Luciani, Federico Santangelo (Newcastle University):

Greetings and Introduction Panel 1: Defining Public Slavery Chair: Orlando Patterson (Harvard University) 2.30 p.m. – Paulin Ismard (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne): Between Morphology and History: Public Slavery in a Comparatist Perspective 3.00 p.m. – M’hamed Oualdi (Princeton University): The Mamluk Enigma in the Muslim States: the Tunisian Case 3.30 p.m. – Discussion 4.00 p.m. – Coffee Break 4.30 p.m. – Franco Luciani (Newcastle University): Public Slaves in the Roman World. Notes on the Concept of Publicness 5.00 p.m. – Rebecca Shumway (College of Charleston): Public Slavery in the Precolonial Gold Coast (Ghana) 5.30 p.m. – Discussion 23rd March Panel 2: Law and Society Chair: Nicholas Purcell (University of Oxford) 9.15 a.m. – Jean-Jacques Aubert (Université de Neuchâtel): The Legal Capacity of Roman Public Slaves 9.45 a.m. – Vijaya Teelock (University of Mauritius): ‘In Defence of the Empire’: Mauritius’ Government Slaves in the 18th Century 10.15 – Coffee Break 10.45 a.m. – Alexander Weiss (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main): Check Your Privileges. Reconsidering the Social Position of Public Slaves in the Roman Empire 11.15 a.m. – Discussion 12 a.m. Lunch Panel 3: From Captivity to Slavery? Chair: Benedetta Rossi (University of Birmingham) 2.30 p.m. – Anne Brogini (Université de Nice): Effective Management of Public Slavery in the The Hospitallers’ Malta (16th-18th Centuries) 3.00 p.m. – Ulrike Roth (University of Edinburgh): The King’s Treasurer, the Dey’s Secretary – Gaius Rabirius Postumus and James Leander Cathcart: Accidental Captivity, Voluntary Service, or Public Slavery? 3.30 p.m. – Coffee Break 4.00 p.m. – Nida Nebahat Nalçacı (Bilkent University): Inherited Institution: Ottoman State Slavery and War Captives 4.30 p.m. – Discussion 8.00 p.m. – Conference dinner 24th March Panel 4: Public Slavery in Transition Chair: Jane Webster (Newcastle University) 9.15 a.m. – Andrea Binsfeld (Université du Luxembourg): Public Slaves in Late Antiquity 9.45 a.m. – Ahmadou Séhou (Université de Maroua): ‘Matchoube laamiibe’ : les esclaves du palais dans les lamidats de l’Adamaoua (Nord-Cameroun), XIXe-XXe siècles 10.15 a.m. – Discussion 10.45 a.m. – Coffee Break 11.15 a.m. – Round Table

Final Discussion

The conference is part of the “Servi Publici: Everybody’s Slaves (SPES)” project, which is based at Newcastle University, and has received funding from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (H2020-MSCA-IF-2015) under grant agreement No 704716.

SPES project focuses on public slavery in the Roman World and sets out to provide a full-scale reconsideration of the position of public slaves in Roman society through a multidisciplinary and comparative study. One of the main objectives of this project is to cross-fertilize the historiography of ancient and modern slavery in order to thoroughly understand the predicament and historical significance of the slaves owned by a community, across a broad chronological and geographical range.

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