Thursday, April 7

Salomon Hall, Brown University


Undergraduate Research Poster Session

Salomon Hall lobby


Keynote Address, President Ruth Simmons

Salomon 101

Friday, April 8

All sessions in Crystal Room, Alumnae Hall, Brown University


Coffee and Registration



  • Chair: Michael Vorenberg, Brown University
  • The Contours of Cotton Capitalism: Speculation, Slavery, and Economic Panic in Mississippi, 1832-1841
    Joshua D. Rothman, University of Alabama
  • Neighbor to Neighbor: Local Lending Networks Building Economies by Mortgaging Slaves
    Bonnie Martin, Southern Methodist University
  • The Common Thread: Cotton, Slavery and the Development of Merchant Banking
    Kathryn Boodry, Harvard University
  • Comment: Elizabeth Blackmar, Columbia University


Coffee Break



  • Chair: Ted Widmer, John Carter Brown Library
  • Defining the National Mainstream: Slavery, Capitalism, and the Limestone South
    John Majewski, University of California–Santa Barbara
  • Did Slavery Need Capitalism, or did Capitalism Need Slavery?
    Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester
  • Comment: Kaivan Munshi, Brown University





  • Chair: Cécile Vidal, L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
  • Quantifying Complicity: New Englanders and the Slave Economies of the West Indies
    Eric Kimball, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
  • The Coastwise Slave Trade and a Mercantile Community of Interest
    Calvin Schermerhorn, Arizona State University
  • Slavery, Technology and the Richmond-Rio Circuit
    Daniel Rood, American Antiquarian Society
  • Comment: Ronald Bailey, Savannah State University

Saturday, April 9

All Sessions in Thompson Room, Barker Center, Harvard University


Coffee and Registration


Plantation Practices

  • Chair: Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University
  • The Whipping Machine
    Edward Baptist, Cornell University
  • Improving the South: Plantation Slavery and American Industrialization
    Ian Beamish, Johns Hopkins University
  • From Slavery to Scientific Management: Accounting for Mastery
    Caitlin Rosenthal, Harvard University
  • Comment: Lorena Walsh, Colonial Williamsburg (retired)


Coffee Break

11:30- 1:00

Human Capital

  • Chair: Richard Rabinowitz, American History Workshop
  • “Broad is de Road dat Leads ter Death”: Human Capital & Enslaved Mortality
    Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas
  • Slave Breeding: An Antebellum Argument over Commodity Relations, Love, and Personhood
    Amy Dru Stanley, University of Chicago
  • Comment: Walter Johnson, Harvard University


Lunch and Undergraduate Poster Session on "Harvard and Slavery"


Institutions and Ideas

  • Chair: John Stauffer, Harvard University
  • “The Very Name of a West Indian”: Atlantic Wealth and the Rise of the American College
    Craig Wilder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Capitalism, Slavery, and Mathew Carey’s 1819
    Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University–Camden
  • “No God But Gain”: The Business of Cuba and U.S. Foreign Policy
    Stephen Chambers, Brown University
  • Utility, Slavery, and Market in American Legal Thought
    Alfred Brophy, University of North Carolina School of Law
  • Comment: James T. Campbell, Stanford University


Concluding Roundtable

  • Sven Beckert, Seth Rockman, and the Audience