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

Samuel Niu's picture
Call for Papers
November 30, 2022
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies, Slavery, European History / Studies, Borderlands

Caribbean Crucible: Atlantic Migrations and the Making of the Modern World. April 14, 2023 | 9 am - 6 pm | Columbia University

The Columbia University History Department invites all graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to participate in the conference Caribbean Crucible: Atlantic Migrations and the Making of the Modern World. This conference will run on Friday, April 14, 2023 at Columbia University (venue and exact times TBA) and is jointly funded by the Columbia University History Department, 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, Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusion, and the Arts and Sciences Graduate Council.

All abstracts are due by the end of day on November 30, 2022.

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 flip 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 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 diaspora studies, Asian studies, 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) Afro-Caribbean and Asian-Caribbean communities in Europe; (3) free Black communities in the United States and Caribbean


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 November 30, 2022.

Limited financial assistance may be available to support panelists’ travel and lodging expenses. Please reach out to the conference organizers at the emails above if you have further questions.

Contact Email: