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Special Event

Conference on Interpreting and Representing Slavery

The University of Virginia and Monticello
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 8:30am to Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 4:00pm

A two-day conference on "Interpreting and Representing Slavery and its Legacies in Museums and Sites: International Perspectives" at the University of Virginia and at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, March 19-20, 2018


Museums and sites around the Atlantic World have developed a variety of approaches to represent the history and legacies of the slave trade, slavery, and emancipation.  Exhibitions, digital media, commemorations, monuments, educational materials, and works of visual and performning arts have made visible in popular memory and landscapes the ubiquity of slavery and its effects throughout America, Africa, and even Europe. Interpretation has varied greatly over recent decades, and continues to vary regionally as communities grapple with the tension between history and memory. Identifying resonant approaches to communicate this shared history – portraying the horrors of slavery as well as the feelings, thoughts, resistance, creativity and resilience of enslaved peoples – remains a challenge.

Through this conference, museum and historic site practitioners, as well as scholars and public thought leaders, will engage in a knowledge exchange to:

  • Consider the global impact of the slave trade and the legacies of slavery
  • Discuss experiences and best practices on representing and interpreting slavery from different regions of the world
  • Examine the roles of the arts, humanities, and multimedia technology for interpreting and representing the memory and history of slavery
  • Contribute to the elaboration of a handbook on new approaches in interpreting and representing slavery in museums and sites
  • Explore opportunities and possibilities for partnerships among participants and with the UNESCO Slave Route Project.

The conference is sponsored by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the University of Virginia, and the United States Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS) in collaboration with the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, and Heritage




Participating Organizations


Event At A Glance:
All day

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