Octember (otherwise known as the period between October 1 and Thanksgiving where summer disappears and the full fall semester workload descends upon professors everywhere) came and went with a vengeance. Research and writing outside of this space took up most of my time so things have been a bit quiet around here. Thank you to those who checked in on me–I’m still catching up on emails but I appreciate the love and collegiality. 🙂
December is another huckleberry but I do have a couple updates:
In January, I’ll be presenting at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans (how perfect is that?). The panel, titled “Donas, Signares, and Free Women of Color: African and Eurafrican Middle-Women of the Atlantic World in an Age of Racial Slavery,” was organized by Lindsey Gish (Michigan State University). Joining me and Lindsey are Pernille Ipsen (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Vanessa S. Oliveira (York University). Lorelle D. Semley (College of the Holy Cross) will offer comments and Hilary Jones (University of Maryland) will chair.
My paper, “Free African and Eurafrican Women and the Trading Companies of the French Atlantic,” plays with the idea that women of African descent first encountered Atlantic freedom and Atlantic slavery in the shadow of trading companies charged with establishing commerce and colonies beyond the metropole. What does this mean for the interpolation of slavery, freedom, and empire in the lives and livelihoods of (free) women of African descent? Not a question with easy answers. But in collaboration with my co-panelists, I’m looking forward to building a response and crafting a definition of “signareship” or free black(?) womanhood in the Atlantic world. More to come.
Winter in New Orleans. I’ll also be in New Orleans in December and (hopefully) January doing research at the Louisiana Historical Center (the Old Mint). New Orleans is my happy place and I’ve been anxious to get back. If you happen to be in town, let’s cross paths, have a beignet (or seven), and do a dance down Frenchmen.