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A call for papers for a virtual conference that explores slavery from religious and theological lenses

Princeton Theological Seminary

Scholars and experts must submit proposals by May 15

PRINCETON, N.J. — Princeton Theological Seminary and joint sponsors Howard University School of Divinity and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) are calling for individual and panel paper proposals for a virtual conference, titled “‘The Troubles I’ve Seen’: Religious Dimensions of Slavery and Its Afterlives.” The event will examine the long-term effects of the enslavement of Africans in America from a unique perspective of the religious and theological dynamics. The conference will be held October 22-23.

Leading the planning at Princeton Seminary are conveners Afe Adogame, Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Religion and Society, and Gordon Mikoski, associate professor of Christian Education. “Recent public discourse on the afterlives of slavery often ignore the religious dimension,” says Adogame. “The institutions of Christianity and Islam, and their adherents, need to be better understood against the historical backdrop of their endorsement and complicity, as well as denial and resistance to slavery.”

“We plan to virtually assemble scholars and experts from around the country and world not to lament over past sins, but to uncover and understand the ramifications of slavery that touches the many facets of industry, politics, and culture in America today that are often masked, ignored, denied, or simply unknown because the dots haven’t been connected,” says convener Yolanda Pierce, professor and dean of Howard University School of Divinity. “It’s our vision that there will be a wide range of disciplines and topics covered that reflect just how deeply rooted and expansive are the effects of slavery that continue to manifest every day.”

Proposals should be in the format of a 250-word abstract, and submitted through the “Abstract Submission” link at The proposal submission deadline is May 15 and parties will be notified of acceptance on June 15.

The conference in October is the first of two on the topic. The second conference will center around the theme of the transatlantic impact of slavery and is expected to be held in Liberia in 2022.

“The transatlantic dimension is rarely discussed,” says Adogame. “The enduring impact of slavery can hardly be localized, but must be seen from its national, continental, but also transatlantic and transnational perspectives.”

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About Princeton Theological Seminary
Princeton Theological Seminary, founded in 1812, is the first seminary established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. Its mission is to educate leaders for the church of Jesus Christ worldwide. Its students and more than 11,000 graduates from all 50 states and many nations around the world serve Christ in churches, schools and universities, healthcare institutions, nonprofit agencies, initiatives for social justice, mission agencies, and the emerging ministries of the church in the 21st century.

About Howard University School of Divinity
The Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD) was chartered in 1870, three years after Howard University was established. The Divinity School became fully accredited in 1940 by the Association of Theological Schools under the leadership of Benjamin Elijah Mays. Howard University School of Divinity is one of the oldest fully accredited theological institutions in the United States and is the only historically Black Theological institution connected to a comprehensive category-one research institution. Throughout history, it has gained an enviable reputation for its distinguished faculty and graduates who have made an indelible impact on the nation and the world. For more info, visit

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. For more info, visit:


Nicole Pride
Princeton Theological Seminary
[email protected]

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