Skip to page Content.

Slave Routes Event, October 2008



Thursday, October 9 — Saturday, October 11, 2008         


"The passage of the 1808 Transatlantic Slave Trade Act  made transporting  or

importing slaves in the United States or its territories illegal."


To commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade by the United States of America, New York University's Institute of African American Affairs and Africana Studies Program is hosting an international symposium entitled Slave Routes: Resistance, Abolition and Creative Progress. This symposium supported by UNESCO's Slave Routes Project will be co-sponsored by NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge, the Organization of Women Writers of Africa, Inc. and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, with additional support provided by the African  Diaspora Slave Routes Organizing Committee and L'Institut Du Tout-Monde.  The symposium will be held at New York University and other sites in the New York metropolitan area October 9 - October 11, 2008.

Distinguished scholars, writers, musicians, visual artists, and organizers from the international community will convene at NYU to discuss slavery, the slave trade and its consequences, in plenary, panels, readings, performances, conversations and film/video screenings.

The first international symposium "Slave Routes: The Long Memory" took place at New York University in October 1999.  Several thousand people attended the activities and the population at large was reached through the televised viewing of selected sessions of the symposium.

We are pleased to be organizing this historic commemoration honoring the memory of those who perished, rebelled and resisted enslavement, and those who continued the struggle to abolish the system of the slave trade and slavery.

There are many questions concerning the geographic scale of the slave trade, the human losses sustained by Africa, the number of deaths along the way in ports of embarkation and on slave ships, the impact of deportation, exile, and dependency and the role of the slave trade in the economic and industrial development of the trading and receiving countries.

The need for more in-depth analysis and for more information, investigations, critical evaluation and publications remain substantial.  The purpose of Slave Routes: Resistance, Abolition, and Creative Progress is to review new information concerning the overthrow of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, improve understanding, identify innovations, track impact of progress, examine consequences, discuss modern forms of slavery, and encourage continuation of research and archival projects. The symposium will bring into focus:

•    Resistance, Abolition and Emancipation
•    Political, psychological & cultural consequences of the slave trade
•    Health, education and development along the route
•    Armed conflicts along the route
•    Colonial land issues in the 21st century
•    Contemporary slavery, child soldiers/workers, and the sex trade
•    Ancient route of the slave and modern route of the African immigrant
•    Climate change along the route.
•    Points of Memory: Africa, Martinique, New Orleans
•    Cultural continuity

We anticipate a wide cross-section of the New York City community to attend, including academics, activists, visual and performing artists, students and the general public This symposium will contribute to the debate and will provide a forum for an exchange of views among scholars, critics, and the public.  The three-day symposium is expected to increase public awareness about the physical and monumental heritage of the slave trade and to catalyze international interest in and research on the subject.


Institute of African American Affairs
New York University
41 East 11th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY   10003

Click here to download this event's schedule.

This symposium is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Please register online