CFP: "Slavery in Early Modern East and Southeast Asia"

Melissa Brown's picture
Call for Papers
August 26, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Literature, Maritime History / Studies, Slavery


Call for Paper Proposals: “Slavery in Early Modern East and Southeast Asia”

Date of workshop: March 23–24, 2020

Location: Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA

Date proposals due: August 26, 2019

See below for proposal requirements.


We seek proposals for papers about different types of unfree labor in East and Southeast Asia during the early modern period, including but not limited to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. From the proposals, we will invite 8–10 scholars to participate in the two-day workshop to be held at Harvard on March 23–24, 2020. We will cover airfare and hotel for invited participants. A selection of the papers will appear in a special issue of the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies.

     The goal of the workshop is to spark discussion about the involuntary circulation of people within and beyond the East and Southeast Asian region. We see this workshop and publication as contributing to development of a working definition of “slavery” in the early modern Asian context.

     We welcome submissions from the fields of history, literature, art history, and other disciplines. We also welcome international submissions, including from scholars resident in East and Southeast Asia. Papers and conference presentations must be in English.  

Proposal Requirements:

Please provide all the following materials by August 26, 2019:

  • a current CV
  • title of proposed paper
  • abstract of proposed paper (maximum 200 words)
  • explanation (maximum 100 words) of why the form of unfree labor you examine can be considered slavery

Send proposals to: 

Contact Info: 

Melissa J. Brown, Managing Editor, HJAS


Contact Email: