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2 November 2022 - 2 November 2022

3:00PM - 5:00PM

In person at the Pemberton Rooms - PG21

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We welcome Dr Maeve Ryan (Kings College London) to the History Department Research Seminar with her talk 'Humanitarian Governance and the British Antislavery World System'

Book talk: Humanitarian Governance and the British Antislavery World System

Between 1808 and 1867, the British navy’s Atlantic squadrons seized nearly two thousand slave ships, “re‑capturing” several hundred thousand enslaved people and resettling them as "liberated Africans"  across sites from Sierra Leone and Cape Colony to the West Indies, Brazil, Cuba, and beyond. In this talk, Maeve Ryan will discuss the set of imperial experiments that took shape as British authorities sought to order and instrumentalise the liberated Africans, and examines the dual discourses of compassion and control that evolved around a people expected to repay the debt of their salvation. This talk will explore the ideas that shaped “disposal” policies towards liberated Africans, the forms of resistance and accommodation that characterised their responses, and the significance of this system for the evolution of a British antislavery “world system,” and for the emergence of modern understandings of refuge, asylum, and humanitarian governance.