Symposium: Empires of Capital: Race Across the Atlantic and the Pacific, May 17-18

May 17 and 18, 2013
University of Washington, Seattle

The two-day symposium seeks to theorize and historicize racial capitalism in the modern world. Building on Cedric Robinson’s insight that capitalist development has been pursued and organized fundamentally around race, speakers will strive to uncover the multiple layers of capitalist expansion—ideological, cultural, economic, and social—to reveal and comprehend the tensions and contradictions of racial capitalism in the past and in the present and across the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Friday, May 17
Petersen Room, Allen Library
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Opening Roundtable
Lisa Lowe, Tufts University, “Sugar, Tea, Opium, Coolies: The Intimacies of Four Continents”
Commentators: Moon-Ho Jung, Chandan Reddy, Stephanie Smallwood, and Alys Weinbaum (Conference Organizers)

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.          Session 1
Jennifer Morgan, New York University, “Partus Sequitur Ventrem: Slave Law and the History of Women in Slavery”
Michael Witgen, University of Michigan, “Seeing Red: The Politics of Crime and Punishment on the Northern Borderlands of the Early American Republic”

Saturday, May 18
Husky Union Building, Room 334
10:30 a.m. – Noon      Session 2
Shelley Streeby, University of California, San Diego, “Hubert H. Harrison’s Scrapbooks, Racial Capitalism, and the Black Radical Tradition”
Manu Vimalassery, Texas Tech University, “Native and Black Visions of Self-Determination”

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Lunch Break*

1:30 – 3:30 p.m.          Session 3
Peter James Hudson, Vanderbilt University, “Black Sovereignty and Racial Capitalism: The National City Bank in Haiti and Liberia, 1910-1935”
Jodi Kim, University of California, Riverside, “Debt Imperialism, Settler Modernity, and the Necropolitics of the Promise”
Andrew Friedman, Haverford College, “Meridians and Parallels: Racial Formations on the Global Grid”

3:45 – 4:15 p.m.          Closing Reflections

The symposium is free and open to the public.

*If you will be joining us for a light lunch on Saturday, please RSVP to or 206-543-8656 by Tuesday, May 14.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, the University of Washington Libraries, the Department of History, the Department of English, the Jackson School of International Studies, and the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

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About mjj22

Current research project The Multi Dimensions of Blackness: Cultural Hegemony in the US and Abroad I am interested in how the concept of race and identity plays a role in how we perceive difference. Moreover, I would like to investigate how colonial powers such as the United States have shaped ideas of race and identity while maintaining colonial rule abroad. This past summer (2012) I was a participant in the Summer Institute in the Art & Humanities. This opportunity allowed me to explore questions concerning race and representation. Why were my peers studying abroad and returning with the same preconceived notions of developing countries? Why were my college classmates representing people and places in the Global South as underdeveloped, religious radicals, uneducated, disease stricken, and confrontational? These questions have driven my interest in globalization, power, borders, and how a variety of people and institutions located in "the West" represent the Global South.

17 thoughts on “Symposium: Empires of Capital: Race Across the Atlantic and the Pacific, May 17-18

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