Dr. Laura Sandy, Senior Lecturer in the History of Slavery and co-director at the Centre for the Study of International Slavery at the University of Liverpool will lead a discussion about interpreting slavery at historic sites on both sides of the Atlantic. Featuring Dr. Christo Kefalas, World Cultures Center, National Trust (UK); Dr. Antoinette T. Jackson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida; and Jean-Francis Manicom, Curator at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, the panel will consider the challenge of presenting slavery at public history sites.


Dr. Laura Sandy (Moderator)

Dr Laura Sandy is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the History of Slavery in the Department of History at the University of Liverpool, UK. She is also the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery and Unfree Labour (CSIS) and an editor for Liverpool University Press’ series “Studies in International Slavery.” She is a historian of slavery, North America, and the Atlantic World. She teaches undergraduate modules on colonial America, American slavery, and Civil Rights and also, early American comparative slaveries as part of the MA in International Slavery Studies. She joined the University of Liverpool in 2015, having previously held tenured posts at Oxford Brookes University and Keele University. Laura’s research focuses on the “margins” of slavery and recovering the life stories of those neglected in existing histories. She aims to expand and challenge how we understand the operation of slavery and the impact it had on all those involved. Her first monograph, Overseers of Early American Slavery, reconstructed the lives of plantation supervisors and artisans, free and enslaved, and also their wives and families. Through this research, she uncovered a much more complex picture of free and enslaved individuals who were entwined in businesses built upon physical coercion and the labour of the unfree. Continuing to unearth those who remain almost invisible in the historical record, Laura has since worked on projects about slave resistance, voluntary enslavement, the laws governing slavery. This has led to the publication of collections, such as Slavery and the Civil War Reconsidered, which reassess the history and memory of slavery, women, resistance, and the Civil War in America. Her current project Slave Stealing further illuminates the lives of men, women, and children who have been forced to occupy the shadows at the "edges" of studies of slavery. This research has also offered the opportunity for wider engagement with issues related to modern slavery and human trafficking. Laura’s work has been funded by the ESRC, Leverhulme, the British Academy, the Robert H. Smith International Centrer Jefferson Studies, John D. Rockefeller, the Mellon Foundation, the US Embassy, the Washington Library, and a variety of universities and educational institutes across the United States. During her career Laura has also has advised on museum exhibitions and given talks on her research to historical societies and institutions in the UK, Europe, and the US.

Dr. Christo Kefalas

Dr. Antoinette T. Jackson

Dr. Antoinette Jackson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa and Director of the USF Heritage Research Lab (https://heritagelab.org). She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Florida, a MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, and a B.A. in Computer and Information Science from Ohio State University. Dr. Jackson completed a 4-year federal appointment as the Regional Cultural Anthropologist for the U.S. National Park Service Southeast Region in May 2016. Her research focuses on identity and representation at public sites of history and heritage in the U.S. and in the Caribbean. Dr. Jackson’s work on heritage has been published widely. Her book Speaking for the Enslaved—Heritage Interpretation at Antebellum Plantation Sites, was published by Routledge in 2012. And her new book, Heritage, Tourism, and Race—the Other Side of Leisure was published by Routledge in 2020. Most recently she awarded a USF funded research grant for her project entitled—African American Burial Grounds & Remembering Project -- Living Communities Challenging Silenced Histories in Florida. On June 15, 2021, her team launched the Black Cemetery Network Archive and Website (http://blackcemeterynetwork.org/).

Jean-François Manicom

Jean-François Manicom is the Lead Curator of the International Slavery Museum (Liverpool, UK). Before coming to Liverpool, he worked as curator of the permanent collection of the Memorial ACTe (Guadeloupe, French West Indies), which is the first memorial site dedicated to the history of slavery and to the expression of contemporary Caribbean Art in the Caribbean region. In 2015, he directed and curated the first Caribbean Festival of the Image, that showcased the works of 41 contemporary artists from the Caribbean. With an expertise on photography, photographic archives, and contemporary visual art, Jean-François has curated multiple exhibitions since 1998 that focused on the visual archives of slavery and its legacies in contemporary post-plantation societies, in France, in the Caribbean and in the UK. He is an internationally prized photographer and film director, whose work questions the universal enigmas of our nowadays, in a world where multiple and fragmented pasts challenge our power to imagine new possible futures.