By Eric Rose
NASSAU, Bahamas – The College of The Bahamas will host an international conference, February 21-23, 2008 under the theme, “Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade: Telling the Story” to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, COB Vice-President of Research, Graduate Programmes and International Relations Dr. Linda Davis announced Monday.
“We were first introduced to the notion of hosting such a conference several months ago, when we were visited by a UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) delegation,” Dr. Davis said.
“We embrace that opportunity with open arms because one of the things that we are desirous of doing more and more of as we transition to university status is provide the kind of academic forum that allows not only our faculty, but also visiting scholars to present within an arena of sharing research data that may open some channels for further collaborations on various kinds of topics.”
According to a COB press statement, an important segment of the conference’s programme will be a student panel. The conference itself will present opportunities for educators and members of the general public to “reflect on the impact of the slave trade and its abolition in the shaping of the Atlantic world and Europe.”
Presenters will examine the struggles of the past, the progress made so far and the challenges that remain to be confronted, the statement continued.
Plenary speakers will include presenters such as Howard University Distinguished Professor of History (emeritus) Dr. Joseph E. Harris, Professor of History at Tulane University and Bahamian Dr. Rosanne Adderley and President of the Africa Institute of Journalism and Communications (Accra, Ghana) Kojo Yankah.
Chair of the Conference Planning Committee and Associate Professor of COB’s School of Social Science Jessica Minnis said there would also be a movie presentation, an art exhibition and a cultural show on the theme and various other events leading up to and running during the conference.
COB is also seeking assistance from private sector stakeholders, who wish to aid in sponsoring the event.
“The conference itself is open to the public,” Minnis added. “We are hoping that individuals will see this as a good learning experience and come and dialogue with academics from The Bahamas, as well as the United States, Canada … we are having individuals coming from as far away as Africa to present papers.
“It is definitely an international conference and we are very, very excited to be able to host this event on such an important occasion, and also to put The Bahamas within the perspective of the abolition because we are also affected by the Slave Trade and so we also have something to share,” she said.