Slave trade, slavery, abolitions and their legacies in European histories and identities


The objective of this project is to put back slaves trade and slavery in the history of Europe; global history to be built; national histories to be put into correlation between them and, in the case of transatlantic slavery and slaves trade, with their colonies or their extra-European zones of influence. Within this context, it has the more specific target of studying the multiple genealogies of the “Black”, the “Afro-descendants” and the “Black Diaspora” issues in Europe, in order to tackle the definition of European identity. The approach to these questions will be a multidisciplinary one, between historians, geographers, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, jurists and educationalists. The project has two components: research, thanks to the network that has been created among European research centres and its valorisation through the elaboration of educational tools.

The WP 4 “Constructing Otherness: Circulation and Identity in Europe” (social and cultural axis) address this issue through a contemporary perspective and in a dialogue with the historical approach of the other work packages.  It will give priority to a reflection on the importance of social perceptions and practices linked to slavery in the actualisation of socio-racial issues in Western societies. Within this framework, the relation to collective memory plays an increasing role in the construction of ‘otherness’ and consequently in self-representation. It comes into different forms depending on the specificities of the European national contexts. In their quest of social and identity recognition, European populations, in particular from Caribbean background, reassess history and redefine their relation to the World through an abstract reference to a mythic past or a more concrete reference to renewed socio-spatial belongings beyond national allegiances.

Axes du laboratoire

Axe 1 – Mobilité, ancrage et dynamiques spatiales

Axe 2 – Normes en migration et migration des normes

Financement et participants

Commission européenne, FP7, 2008-2012, Partenaire

Coordinatrice principale : M. Cottias (CRPLC, CNRS-Univ. Antilles-Guyane)

Scientifique référent à Migrinter: C. Audebert

Partenaires: CNRS (coordinateur), Danish National Archives, University of Hull, Universidade do Porto, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Centre Français d’Etudes Mexicaines et Centraméricaines, York University, Casa de Velazquez, Université d’Etat d’Haïti.

Chercheurs de Migrinter impliqués dans le projet : C. Audebert, S. Hassan, S. Testa.

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