Salone News

Conference on Sierra Leone

22 August 2011 at 03:54 | 225 views

Sierra Leone Past and Present 2012

April 20-24, 2012

Fourah Bay College

Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Since the foundation of Freetown in 1787 and its incorporation into the British Empire as a crown colony in 1808, Sierra Leone has been closely connected with global changes emanating from the struggle to end slavery and to achieve a multicultural society whose origins can be traced to many parts of Africa, as well as Jamaica, Canada and Britain. The aim of this conference is to explore the diversity of the Sierra Leone past, and to place the modern history of Sierra Leone in historical perspective.

The conference will assess current scholarship on the history of Sierra Leone in its global context. The importance of Sierra Leone in the history of slavery, the abolition movement, colonialism, and inter-continental migration cannot be questioned. Since the foundation of Freetown in 1787 and its incorporation into the British Empire as a crown colony in 1808, Sierra Leone has been closely connected with global changes emanating from the struggle to end slavery. This conference will assemble scholars currently working on various aspects of Sierra Leone history and society. Through its history, Sierra Leone has been a multi-cultural society whose people can trace their origins to many parts of Africa, particularly Angola, Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, Mali, as well as Jamaica, Canada, the United States, and Britain.

The aim of this conference is to explore the diversity of the Sierra Leone past. We believe that the modern history of Sierra Leone has to be placed in historical perspective as part of the process of truth and reconciliation that is required to promote international understanding. In 2011, Sierra Leone celebrated fifty years as an independent country. 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the ending of the Sierra Leone civil war. A conference in Sierra Leone is essential to assess the current state of research and how that research can be disseminated within Sierra Leone and abroad.

Significance and timeliness of the research issues: This is the UN designated International Year for People of African Descent. 2012 is the tenth anniversary to the end of civil war in Sierra Leone. Because of eleven years of civil war, from 1991-2002, there has been serious disruption in the reconstruction of this historical importance. Our intention is to assess the current state of research on Sierra Leone in its global context and to undertake to disseminate new knowledge on Sierra Leone history that can be transferred to students and teachers in Sierra Leone, as well as in the scholarly community that is worldwide. The event is on the agenda of the UNESCO Slave Route Project, which encourages research and dissemination of knowledge on the history of slavery and the African diaspora. The workshop is also in tandem with the British Library Endangered Archives Programme, which is supporting the digitization of documents in the Sierra Leone Public Archives.

Conference Themes:

Ethnicity, society, and history

Slave trade, slavery, and abolition

Traditional governance and colonialism

Economic development and trade

Sierra Leoneans abroad

Memorialization and archive preservation

Civil war and reconciliation

Religious tolerance and civil society

Final Call for Papers:

Deadline: September 30, 2011

Individuals interested in participating in the Conference should submit a paper title, short abstract and c.v. to the Organizing Committee, c/o tubman@yorku.ca

Registration:

All participants are required to pay a registration fee of US$150, except residents of Sierra Leone and students. Participants are responsible for their own accommodation and transportation, including cost of transport from the Sierra Leone airport to Freetown (via boat or helicopter). Local transportation between hotel and conference venue will be provided. Participants are advised that credit cards are not normally usable.

Sponsors:

Sierra Leone Public Archives

Department of History, Fourah Bay College

Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples

Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

University of Worcester

Organizing Committee:

Joe Alie, Chair, Department of History, Fourah Bay College

Anne Bunting, Tubman Institute, York University

Paul E. Lovejoy, Tubman Institute, York University

Albert Moore, Chief Government Archivist, Sierra Leone Public Archives

Suzanne Schwarz, University of Worcester

Katrina Keefer, Tubman Institute, York University

Comments