Session of the Week: The Emancipation Proclamation at 150: Dynamics, Contexts, and Legacies

In an effort to highlight the diverse range of scholarship at the upcoming annual meeting, we’re highlighting different sessions here on the blog each week.

September 22, 2012 marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. For the annual meeting, a group of prominent historians have come together to discuss the legacy of the act, including: local dynamics, a transnational view of abolition in the world, and transitions to freedom in the Americas.

The Emancipation Proclamation at 150: Dynamics, Contexts, and Legacies
(AHA Session 30)
Date: Thursday, January 3, 2012, 3:30p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Location: Roosevelt Ballroom II (Roosevelt New Orleans)
Chair: Christopher L. Brown, Columbia University

Topics:
King and Kennedy: The Legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation in the Civil Rights Era
David W. Blight, Yale University

The Battlefields of Wartime Emancipation across the Atlantic Worlds: The Price of Freedom
Thavolia Glymph, Duke University

The Enduring Problem of Free Labor and Citizenship
Thomas C. Holt, University of Chicago

Fugitive Slaves, Military Intelligence, and Civil Rights before the Emancipation Proclamation
Kate Masur, Northwestern University

Wartime Deliberations: Expanding Citizenship before the Fourteenth Amendment
Rebecca J. Scott, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Session Abstract: The Emancipation Proclamation was, not insignificantly, enacted during a time of war.  Indeed, the United States was one of few slave societies in the Americas that initiated wide-scale abolition in such a context.  In light of the conference theme of “Lives, Places, Stories” and the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, this session brings together leading historians who shall consider both local dynamics and transnational phenomena pertaining to transitions from slavery to freedom.  Roundtable participants will therefore consider both the specificities of emancipation in the US and broader processes of emancipation in the Americas; they shall consider legacies of the Emancipation Proclamation as well.

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