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NOTICE: In light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the planned ISOS Conference until 2021. 


A note from the ISOS comittee

While the Covid-19 situation has led to the need to postpone this event, it is our intention to run the conference in June 2021 (20-22nd approx) and we will send information regarding this after the current situation has passed. Your accepted papers and posters will be carried over until next year. Keep the dates free!

The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors is our highest priority and while we realise that the cancellation of events will cause some inconvenience and disappointment, this measure is aimed at ensuring that our response to the current situation remains responsible and informed by the latest public health advice and expertise.

We have made this decision before taking registration but understand some of you may have unfortunately incurred other costs. We regret that the university cannot be held liable for any loss of travel or accommodation costs arising from this.     

We hope you are in good health and that we may see you in 2021.

Best Wishes,

The ISOS Conference Committee. 

Is this conference for you?

ISOS, the Institute for the Study of Slavery, is pleased to announce its global conference for June 2020 on the theme of After 'Emancipation': The legacies, afterlives and continuation of slavery


The University of Nottingham’s Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS) is a multidisciplinary network which pursues research on both historical and contemporary slavery and forced labour in all parts of the globe and through all periods.

Throughout slavery’s long history, from the ancient world to the present, there have been numerous moments of individual, group and political ‘emancipations’ and abolitions.

These have occurred through the following:

  • Formal abolition

  • Manumission—when an enslaved person is freed by a slaveholder

  • Enslaved people running away  

  • Rebellions and revolts

Today, despite living in a world which is 'post-slavery'—in international legal terms—millions of people continue to be exploited under modern slavery and the negative legacies of historical slavery. 

Within this climate, this conference looks to explore what emancipation meant to the formerly enslaved and what that ‘freedom’ might have looked like. 

It also considers 'afterlives' in a wider sense. At present, many institutions, including universities, are considering the varied ways in which they have benefitted, financially and otherwise, from Transatlantic Slavery.

There are also debates about the renaming of statues and monuments linked to this history and gaps in the presentation of histories of the enslaved and what these mean to descendants of the formerly enslaved. 

The conference will explore these topics and ideas through a range of panels and discussions. 

Programme overview

ISOS 2020 will launch with a wine reception on the evening of Sunday 21 June, as we welcome international scholars from Australia, South Africa, the United States of America, and Europe.

We will have two full days of panels on themes including:

  • Slavery and Religion
  • Precarious Freedoms
  • Women and Children
  • Sites of Memory
  • Teaching Painful Histories
  • Heritage Site Collaborations
  • Black Academics Working in the UK

There will also be an exciting poster session covering:

  • The Black Body and Memory 
  • The Slave Trade in Malawi
  • Black Atlantic Authors
  • Visual Culture and Photography

The posters will act as visual stimuli for discussion and questions. The session will be accompanied with a wine reception before the dinner on Monday evening. 

Accommodation options

Accommodation is available at the De Vere Conference Centre and Hotel on Jubilee Campus, which is where the conference events will be held. A number of rooms have been earmarked for conference delegates but please note these must be booked at least four weeks in advance. Delegates should book these rooms directly with the De Vere Hotel, quoting the ISOS Conference. The cost for a single room B&B is £95 including VAT. 

There are a number of hotels, hostels and self-catered apartments in Nottingham City Centre, which may be more budget-friendly and convenient for Nottingham train station: 

Jury's Inn 

Premier Inn

Mercure Hotel 

Igloo Hybrid Hostel

Cranbrook House Apartments

Tip: You may find a cheaper deal through a third party website such as Trip Advisor or Bookings.

Conference essentials

Location map (pdf)

Further travel information

Contact the organiser

After Emancipation Organisers

Pricing details

Full conference package

Academics £150

PGR/Unwaged £110

Includes daytime refreshments/lunch plus wine receptions and the delegate evening meal on Monday 22 June

Day rates

Day rate (Mon 22 or Tues 23) £60 includes lunch and refreshments

Day rate plus delegate meal £110


With thanks to the Royal Historical Society and the Centre for Research and Visual Culture.




The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151