Research activities

Neo-slave Narratives Conference

The conference aims to identify the political, historical, and aesthetic origins of slave narratives whilst also considering how neo-slave narratives re-imagine the slave narrative tradition, its tropes and its form.

Hosted by the University of Greenwich and co-organised by the University of Greenwich and the University of Liverpool

Venue: University of Greenwich, London

Date: 16th and 17th June 2022

About the conference

The original African American and Caribbean slave narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (for example, those by Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass) have been revisited in the twentieth and twenty first century neo-slave narrative genre that includes works of poetry, prose, drama, film and art. Neo-slave narratives exist in many forms, including the historical novel, science fiction, memoir, and the gothic. The conference aims to identify the political, historical, and aesthetic origins of slave narratives whilst also considering how neo-slave narratives re-imagine the slave narrative tradition, its tropes and its form. At the end of her own seminal neo-slave narrative Beloved (1987), Toni Morrison writes of how the history of slavery “is not a story to pass on”, famously ambivalent words that invite us to consider why the slave narrative continues to be passed on, told in ever more diverse and imaginative forms of remembrance.

Programme - PDF Version

Thursday 16th June - Location: King William Building, Room 002




Welcome, (Justine Baillie and Professor Mark O’Thomas, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Greenwich)


Opening Keynote by Lucienne Loh (University of Liverpool)

Representing a Gendered Economy of Transatlantic Slavery in Black British Writing


Coffee break


Marta Frątczak-Dąbrowska (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)

The em-bodi-ment of wealth: Slave bodies and their material value as seen through the example of neo-slave narratives


Feyisitan Ijimakinwa (University of Ibadan)

Unpacking the Politics of (Non)Restitution of Benin Bronze Artefacts as Another Neo-slave Narrative


Maiko Mine (Chuogakuin University)

Literacy and Neo-slave Narratives


Nikky Suárez (University of Central Florida)

Re-imagining Neo-Slave Narratives’ “Autobiographical ‘I’” in Douglass and Jacobs



Laura Blunsden (University of Liverpool)

The Exhibition and Inhibition of Mary Prince in Nineteenth-Century Abolitionist Discourse


Angela Mann Leeds (University of Central Florida)

Genealogy-Informed Texts as Neo-Slave Narratives


Jee H. An (Seoul National University)

The How and Why of Remembering the Past




Closing Keynote by Leila Kamali (Independent Scholar)

John Edgar Wideman and the Neo-Slave Narrative

18:15Barbecue dinner in Queen Anne Courtyard

Friday 17th June - Location: King William Building, Room 002


Opening Keynote by Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire)

Neo Slave Narratives beyond in Literature and Beyond from Lubaina Himid to Ellen Gallagher and Jade Montserrat


Sienna Brown (Author) and Ben Etherington (Western Sydney University)

From Slaves to Convicts: Telling the Story of Unfree West Indian Labour in Australia



Louise Kane (University of Central Florida)

“Frey Bartolomo Fetched me from the Congo”’: Neo-Slave Narratives in Caribbean Poetry


Lucia Llano Puertas (University of Westminster)

Transatlantic Slavery and the Question of the Human: Archives and Neo-Archives in the Francophone and Anglophone Caribbean


Liani Lochner (Université Laval)

“We’ve had enough of being trapped in this derelict pondok of history”: Zoë Wicomb’s Still Life and the Neo-slave Narrative


Emily Miller (The College of New Jersey)

The impossibility of Female Enlightenment in Charles Johnson’s Oxherding Tale




Luana de Souza Sutter (University of Erfurt)

Testimony, Materiality, and the Slave Narrative in Fred D’Aguiar’s Feeding the Ghosts (1997)


Zsuzsanna Lénárt-Muszka (University of Debrecen)

Challenging the Lenticular Logic of Representation in Sherley Anne Williams’s Dessa Rose


Josiane Ranguin (University of Paris XIII-Sorbonne)

Navigating Antebellum Maryland as a Black Feminist in Kindred by Octavia Estelle Butler


Madelyn Walsh  (University of Liverpool)

Exaqua in Giles Terera’s The Meaning of Zong

16:15-17:15Alan Rice in Conversation with Novelist, Yvonne Battle Felton
17:15Closing Remarks

Useful links

Getting to University of Greenwich
Hotels in Greenwich

Organising Committee