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Legacies of Atlantic slavery and British colonialism with Trevor Burnard
Presented as part of 'A Foreign Country: Travels through the Past' series
'A Foreign Country: Travels through the Past' is a series of fortnightly lectures hosted by the State Library of NSW on Tuesday evenings at 5.30 pm between 31 August and 9 November 2021.
How do Britons, Americans and Australians reckon with the wrongs of Atlantic slavery into the present day? Slavery was present at every step in the development of colonial commerce in the eighteenth century and contributed substantially to the building of the modern world in Britain and its empire, including North America, by providing the wealth to make institutions and people rich. We cannot put these things right, but we can recognise that the links of slavery to the British and to Britain’s imperial past matter, and that the history of the abolition of slavery matters too.
This lecture connects the past of Atlantic slavery with the present of modern slavery and the troubled racial and colonial legacies that are everywhere around us.
Trevor Burnard, a native of New Zealand who taught for ten years in Australia, is the Wilberforce Professor of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull, the director of the Wilberforce Institute, a member of the government-funded Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre and the long-time editor of the Oxford Online Bibliography in Atlantic History. He is the author of many monographs, including Jamaica in the Age of Revolution (2020) and Mastery, Tyranny and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-American World (2004)
A Foreign Country: Travels through the Past series includes
- 31 August Will Christie, ‘A public lecture on public lecturing’
- 14 September Anna Johnston, ‘The platypus journal and the felon press: Science and print culture in colonial Tasmania’
- 28 September Trevor Burnard, ‘Legacies of Atlantic slavery and British colonialism’
- 12 October Victoria Haskins, ‘Family histories and the memory of nations: Reflections on my great-grandmother’s fight against Aboriginal child removal in the 1930s’
- 26 October Mark Kenny, ‘Lucky but lame — Australia’s unhappy relationship with risk’
- 9 November Jennifer Milam, ‘Thomas Jefferson’s gardens’