Caribbean Crucible: Atlantic Migrations and the Making of the Modern World

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Call for Papers
November 30, 2022
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Black History / Studies, British History / Studies, Race / Ethnic Studies, South Asian History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies

Caribbean Crucible: Atlantic Migrations and the Making of the Modern World. 

14 April 2023 | 9 am - 6 pm | Columbia University, New York.  | Abstracts Due: 30 November 2022

The Columbia University History Department invites all PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to participate in Caribbean Crucible: Atlantic Migrations and the Making of the Modern World on Friday 14th April 2023 at Columbia University in New York City.
The conference is jointly supported by the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, the Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion, and the Arts and Sciences Graduate Council at Columbia University, and the Department of Africana Studies at Barnard College.

This conference gathers the latest research on the diverse peoples and cultures that developed in the Caribbean and moved outward to shape societies on both sides of the Atlantic in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Scholars have long recognized the ways the Caribbean acted as a crossroads for Atlantic cultures. There, people from around the world forged new identities and built new communities, forming the demographic and cultural bedrock of the Caribbean today. Yet just as immigrants, enslaved people, indentured laborers, and colonists flowed into the Caribbean, a diverse range of migrants flowed out, carrying communities and cultures with them to Europe, the United States, and beyond.

How does our understanding of history change when we alter our frame of reference to see the Caribbean as the crucible of the modern West—not merely as a destination or waystation for slave traders, their captive cargo, conquistadors, and sugar merchants, but as the progenitor of creole, Asian, Afro-Asian, and Afro-European migrants who radically reshaped the economies, cultures, and politics of their new homes? How did their circum-Atlantic movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in turn, change the migrants themselves?

We seek proposals that engage these questions from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to history, political science, sociology, anthropology, African/ African Diaspora studies, Asian/Asian American studies, literary studies, and data sciences.

Abstracts for a 15-20 minute presentation should fit into at least one of the following panels: 

(1) Asian-Caribbean migrant communities in the United States; 

(2) African-Caribbean and Asian-Caribbean communities in Europe;

(3) free Black communities in the United States and Caribbean; 

Financial assistance may be available to support panellists’ travel and lodging expenses. 

Contact Info: 

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract outlining the topic and approach of your work in PDF format to Rochelle Malcolm [], Samuel Niu [], and Madison Ogletree [], by 30 November 2022

Contact Email: