Netherlands, Slavery and the Treaty of Utrecht

Slavery was abolished in the Dutch Colonies in 1863, making next year the 150th anniversary. Readers will be aware of this Blog's interest in slavery, so it is worth noting the following conference organised in Utrecht. It is also worth noting that next year is the tercentenary of the Treaty of Utrecht, one provision of which was the British acquisition of the Asiento, the contract to supply slaves to the Spanish colonies, a treaty which helped make Britain the great slave-trading nation of the eighteenth century:


The centre for the Humanities presents the conference of the Treaty of Utrecht commemoration.

The Colonial Legacy of the Treaty of Utrecht:

An international conference organised by the Centre for the Humanities, Utrecht University, convened by Rosi Braidotti and Esther Captain

June 21 and 22, 2013

This conference links the commemoration of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, to the abolition of Slavery by the Dutch 100 years later.
Over the course of two days, illustrious academics will delve into the haunting legacy of the Treaty of Utrecht, the history of slavery, the state of slavery today and the connections between them.
The two-day conference will take you from history and philosophy, to anthropology and post-colonialism, transnational memories and transitional justice. In a great number of interdisciplinary lectures and panels, scholars examine the lasting legacy of slavery and the persistent presence of human trafficking in the contemporary world.
Preliminary Programme:

Friday June 21, 2013: History and Geography
Time: 9:30 – 19:30
Location: Aula (Academy Building)

09:30 – 10:15 Registration, coffee and tea
10:15 – 11:00 Opening by the rector magnificus of Utrecht University
Welcoming address by the mayor of Utrecht
Welcoming address by the director of the Treaty of Utrecht
11:00 – 12:00 Keynote lecture: dr. Françoise Vergès, Goldsmiths University of London, UK, president of the Committee for Memory and History of Slavery, Paris, France
12:00 – 13:00 Keynote Lecture: prof. Nathalie Zemon Davis, professor of History, University of Toronto, Canada
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 – 15:00 Keynote Lecture: dr. Patrick Eyres, Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust
15:00 – 15:30 Tea Break


Start of parallel program; choice between panel 1 and panel 2

Panel 1: The Treaty of Utrecht and the History of Slavery
Time: 15:30 – 17:30
Location: Belle van Zuylenzaal (Academy Building)
• Lecture by prof. Catherine Hall, University College London and principal investigator of the project ‘Legacies of British slave ownership'
• Response by prof. Wijnand Mijnhardt, Utrecht University

Panel 2: Geographies of Slavery: the Transatlantic and the Indian Ocean World
Time: 15:30 – 17:30
Location: Maskeradezaal (Academy Building)
• Lecture by prof. Achille Mbembe, professor of history and politics, University of Witwatersrand, SA
• Response by prof. Maarten Prak, Utrecht University

Evening Programme:
Location: Aula, Academy building

17:30 – 18:30 Break and Snack at the Faculty Club
18:30 – 19:30 Keynote Lecture: Dr. Kevin Bales, director and co-founder of Free the Slaves, Washington DC, US, professor of sociology at the University of Surrey Roehampton (England), author of Disposable People. New Slavery in the Global Economy
20:00 Dinner with Speakers of the confernce

Saturday June 22, 2013: Cultural Memory
Time: 9:30 – 16:30
Location: Aula (Academy Building)

09:30 – 10:00 Registration, coffee and tea
10:00 – 11:00 Keynote lecture: prof. Paul Gilroy, Treaty of Utrecht visiting professor, London School of Economics, UK
11:00 – 12:00 Keynote Lecture: prof. Michael Rothberg, professor of English and Director of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch Break

Start of parallel program; choice between panel 1, 2 and 3
Panel 1: Practices of Commemoration
Time: 13:00 – 15:00
Location: Aula (Academy Building)
• Lecture by prof. Jonathan Jansen, University of Johannesburg, SA
• Response by prof. Ann Rigney, Utrecht University

Panel 2: Reconciliation and Recovery in the Past and Present
Time: 13:00 – 15:00
Location: Belle van Zuylenzaal (Academy Building)
• Lecture by prof. Elazar Barkan, professor of international and public affairs, Columbia University, US
• Response by dr. Paulla Ebron, associate professor of anthropology, Stanford University, US

Panel 3: Contemporary slavery: child labour, prostitution and trafficking in women and children
Time: 13:00 – 15:00
Location: Maskeradezaal (Academy Building)
• Lecture by dr. Rutvica Andreijasevic, Open University, London, UK

15:00 – 15:30 Tea Break
15:30 – 16:30 Closing round table discussion
18:00 – 21:00 Conference Dinner


This programme is sponsored by The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences