Call for Papers: LSSA biennial conference "Slavery and Forced Labor in Asia, c. 1250-1900"

The LSSA biennial international slavery conference will be held on 1-3 June 2017, and will be devoted to exploring the history of slavery and forced labor in Asia. The call for papers is now out!



Leiden University, The Netherlands 
1-3 June 2017

The Leiden Slavery Studies Association (LSSA) invites proposals for papers to be presented at its second biennial conference to be held 1-3 June 2017 at Leiden University.  Although pioneering researchers such as Anthony Reid and James F. Warren paved the way for a greater understanding of slavery in Asia, chattel, debt, and forced labor in Asia have not figured prominently in research on slavery as a global phenomenon.  Taking advantage of a recent surge in Asian slavery studies in the Low Countries, this conference seeks to bring Asia fully into the discourse on global slavery by bringing together scholars who work on slavery and forced labor in Central Asia (including modern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), and East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan) between the mid-thirteenth and early twentieth-centuries. 

The goal of the LSSA conference series is to examine slave systems in comparative perspective and situate them in broader regional and pan-regional contexts. The LSSA accordingly encourages proposals on the following topics and issues:

  • The definition and characteristics of slave status in Asian societies, including the ways in which and the reasons why slave status changed through time.

  • The structure, organization, use, and prevalence of slave and forced labor regimes, including the ways in which indigenous and European slave systems influenced and interacted with one another.

  • The nature, dynamics, and volume of indigenous and European slave trading in Asia, including the ways in which these systems interacted with one another and the impact of such interaction.

  • The abolition of slavery and the social, economic, and political consequences of slave emancipation.

  • The ways in which slavery and slave trading systems were linked to other migrant labor systems such as the convict and indentured labor trades and systems that flourished within and beyond the European colonial world between the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The conference organizers anticipate that at least one volume of selected papers will be published by Brill Academic Press as part of the press’s Studies in Global Slavery series.

Those interested in participating in the conference should submit an 250-300 word abstract describing their proposed paper and a one-page CV to both of the following organizers by 15 November 2016:

Dr. Richard B. Allen,
Dr. Jeff Fynn-Paul,

Authors will be notified about their proposal’s status no later than 13 January 2017.

Last Modified: 03-05-2017