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28 April 2021

Call for Submissions for "Blood on the Leaves/And Blood at the Roots”: Reconsidering Forms of Enslavement and Subjection across Disciplines

Call for submissions for "Blood on the Leaves/And Blood at the Roots”: Reconsidering Forms of Enslavement and Subjection across Disciplines" Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature and the Arts conference in June.

Virtual Conference

Submissions are being invited for the 2021 Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature and the Arts Conference “Blood on the Leaves/And Blood at the Roots”: Reconsidering Forms of Enslavement and Subjection across Disciplines, at which King's African Leadership Centre's Dr Eka Ikpe will be a keynote speaker.

This event aims to open a multicultural space beyond institutional and geographical boundaries to foster discussions and to listen to a variety of voices, addressing the problems of enslavement and subjection. In this space, the conference seeks to explore the various figurations and conceptions of enslavement and subjection across disciplines—from philosophy to literature, from the arts to the social sciences, to mention only a few— and beyond territories. Enslavement and subjugation are not only concerns of our past but urgent problems of our present and future. The title of the conference directly refers to Billie Holiday’s 1939 performance of Strange Fruit so as to emphasise both the human and environmental impact of forms of enslavement and subjection which have—literally and metaphorically—left “Blood on the leaves / And blood at the Roots.”

The conference still has an open call for papers on any of the following topics:

  • Forms of enslavement across time from Antiquity to today.
  • Figuration and representation of enslaved people and/or slavery and more broadly subjugation in the arts (music, visual and performing arts, film, tv and media studies, theatre and drama, literature and graphic novels, etc.)
  • (Hi)Stories of slavery and oppression as well as resistance, emancipation and liberation and memory studies.
  • Philosophers’ views on slavery as well as the philosophical significance of the concept of enslavement and subjugation in the history and practice of philosophy.
  • Philosophical accounts of servitude as a condition.
  • (Political) Ethics of enslavement and/or subjection.
  • Traces of slavery and enslavement in our time, structural racism, #BlackLivesMatter, minority activism movements and social (in)justice.
  • Gendered and reproductive enslavement and labour, housewifisation and women’s emancipation movements and activism, #NiUnaMenos & #Metoo.
  • The role of colonisation and slavery in building Europe and the United States and its economy as well as debates surrounding restitution and reparation.
  • Decolonising the University and the syllabus, and decolonial methodologies more broadly.
  • The evolution of slavery, indentured labour and forced migration.
  • Modern slavery and human and animal trafficking.
  • Contemporary economies of tourism and/or neo-liberal practices of extractivism as forms of enslavement and subjugation.
  • Commodification of bodies and lands and their intertwined relations.
  • Traces of slavery on the environment, plantationocene, climate change, uneven developments and environmental justice.
  • Human-Animal relations, animal ethics and their exploitation and rights.
  • Extinction as a result of exploitation and subjugation.

Submissions going beyond Western scholarship, from scholars at any stage of their careers and from practitioners, artists and activists are strongly encouraged.

Individual proposals for 20-minute papers, as well as proposals for panels (three 20-minute papers), roundtables, jam sessions, or any other format to present artistic production or to address activism, are invited. 

To submit your proposal, please contact with an abstract (200-300 words) and a brief biography.

Submission deadline: 10 May 2021

Further details are available here.