University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Archaeology - Garrod seminar series > The Presence of Absence: Interrogating and interpreting forced and free migration in the Atlantic Caribbean

The Presence of Absence: Interrogating and interpreting forced and free migration in the Atlantic Caribbean

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  • UserAlissandra Cummins (Barbados Museum & Historical Society)
  • ClockThursday 10 February 2022, 16:00-17:30
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Laure Bonner.

In a 1959 Exhibition advocate historian Elsa Goveia contextualized the importance of the West Indies to the advancement of empire by confronting the centrality of black unfreedom in that process. She stated that: Freedom confers mobility. The slave’s position is characterized by fixity. His status is a matter of law, which places him under the control of a master. The master decides his occupation and his place of residence. The law restricts his physical movement. He is coerced by law and by the master’s will. This presentation will examine the re-appropriation of contested and contingent colonial spaces of Barbados, as part of an ongoing process of interrogation and interpretation of the archive and the archaeology of absence, where the lives of the enslaved have been erased or obscured as part of a hegemonic process of historical production, appropriation and control. Commemoration and community engagement provide some of the tools to address the contingent nature of this historical narrative, and revising the narratives and reconstructing their presence in the process.

This presentation will be online via Zoom. Please register at: https://cam-ac-uk.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcrcOGrrzgvGtdRGa2hg3CdR_BrWuMGunqF

This talk is part of the Department of Archaeology - Garrod seminar series series.

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