Event Detail

Juneteenth Lecture: Enslaved Females in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century North America

Dear Members and Friends of the AmerikaHaus NRW,

We cordially invite you to this year's Juneteenth Lecture:

Enslaved Females in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century North America:
Examining the Fugitive Slave Archive

 Charmaine A. Nelson 
Provost Professor of Art History, Department of History of Architecture and Director of the Slavery North Initiative, University of Massachusetts Amherst

 Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | 6 p.m.

Universitätsforum | Heussallee 18-24 | 53113 Bonn 
The scholarship on transatlantic slavery has long benefited from the often-exhaustive data published in the fugitive slave archive. Ubiquitous throughout the transatlantic world, fugitive slave advertisements were commonly placed by enslavers seeking to recapture enslaved people who resisted through flight. Such notices commonly provided specific, invasive detail about an enslaved person’s body, dress, skills, languages, and even gestures and mannerisms. Although enslaved females standardly comprised a smaller percentage of runaways, nevertheless, the fugitive notices that do exist for female freedom seekers shed light on their lives and experiences. Through an examination of the fugitive slave archive and other sources, this lecture seeks to fill some of the scholarly gaps on the experiences of enslaved females of African descent in Canada. More specifically, it will offer some distinctions between the lives and experiences of enslaved females in slave minority (temperate) and slave majority (tropical) sites in the British transatlantic world.

Charmaine A. Nelson is a Provost Professor of Art History in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and Director of the Slavery North Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Black Maple Magazine, one of the only national platforms aimed at black Canadians. From 2020-2022, she was a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Transatlantic Black Diasporic Art and Community Engagement at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) in Halifax, Canada where she founded the first-ever institute focused on the study of Canadian Slavery. She also worked at McGill University (Montreal) for seventeen years (2003-2020). Nelson has made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of the Visual Culture of Slavery, Race and Representation, Black Diaspora Studies, and Black Canadian Studies. She has published seven books and is actively engaged with lay audiences through her media work including ABC, CBC, CTV, and City TV News, The Boston Globe, BBC One’s “Fake or Fortune,” and PBS’ “Finding your Roots”. In 2017, she was the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University and in 2021 a Fields of the Future Fellow at Bard Graduate Center (NYC). In 2022, she was inducted as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and elected as a Member of the American Antiquarian Society.

About Juneteenth: Juneteenth is a holiday in the Unites States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans; it is observed annually on June 19. The date marks the anniversary of the proclamation of freedom for slaves in Texas in 1865. The name Juneteenth is the blending of the words "June" and "nineteenth". It was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.


We cordially invite you to join us for a reception after the lecture and discussion. 


Please register via Eventbrite!


We cordially thank our partners for their cooperation: The Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies and the North American Studies Program at the University of Bonn.