CfP: Retrospectives on Child Slavery in Africa (Publication); by: 01.06.2023

Genealogy Special Issue; Guest editor: Robin P. Chapdelaine (Department of History, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh) (PDF)

Proposals by: 01.06.2023

The history of child slavery and systems of forced/coerced labor continues to be a rising topic, as is the focus on the contemporary trafficking of children (Allain 2012; Duane 2017; Pelckmans 2013; Razy and Rodet 2016; Rossi 2015). In 2009, historians Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller published the first comprehensive edited collection on child slavery throughout history and another in 2011 focused on modern child slavery. The former focuses on defining ‘who is a child’ and the latter on ‘what is slavery’. These are instructive texts on how ‘to do’ child slavery history and provide a basis on which scholars can move forward. Additionally, although there remains the question of whether historical slavery and modern systems of forced and coerced labor should be considered synonymous, scholars and policy makers continue to pay attention to various forms of unfree statuses throughout history (Kara 2017; Lawrance 2010; Quirk and Vigneswaran 2013).
Many nineteenth-century abolitionists and humanitarians celebrated the collapse of the transatlantic slave trade as a noteworthy success even though African domestic slavery rose exponentially in its aftermath. This “reinvention and reconfiguration” of slavery deserves scholarly consideration, especially as it relates to children (Chapdelaine 2021; Law 1995; Lawrance 2012; Shell 2018). Anna Mae Duane argues that “although children are often excluded from the calculus of who counts as a slave, they have long been central to defining slavery itself,” precisely because of the child’s vulnerability and dependency on others (2017). Examining children’s vulnerabilities and dependencies is essential to understanding their daily experiences. Read more and source … (PDF).