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The Princeton & Slavery Symposium

"Race," Imagination, and the Birthpains of Justice"

The Princeton & Slavery Project, a scholarly investigation of Princeton University's historical engagement with the institution of slavery, will host a scholarly symposium on November 17-18, 2017. For a schedule of the weekend’s events, see: https://slaverysymposium.princeton.edu/

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison will deliver the keynote address. Other featured speakers include:

  • Project director Martha A. Sandweiss (Princeton University)
  • Ruth Simmons (Brown University)
  • Leslie Harris (Northwestern University)
  • Eric Foner (Columbia University)
  • Danielle Allen (Harvard University).

Weekend events will also include McCarter Theatre's world premiere of "The Princeton and Slavery Plays," seven newly-commissioned short plays based on historical documents uncovered as part of the research project. Playwrights include:

  • Nathan Alan Davis
  • Jackie Sibblies Drury
  • Dipika Guha
  • Branden Jacobs-Jenkins '06
  • Kwame Kwei-Armah
  • Emily Mann, McCarter Artistic Director and Resident Playwright
  • Regina Taylor.

In addition, the Princeton University Art Museum will host a public conversation with Titus Kaphar related to a new sculpture commissioned for the Princeton & Slavery Project that explores the ways in which we create identity, racial structures, and economies in visual form. In the Museum’s galleries, artworks from Kaphar’s existing body of work will be featured in an exhibition that relates more broadly to representations of history in the United States, and in particular how African American identity is constructed and reinforced by their visual representation and/or absence in art.


For those who were not able to obtain tickets, the symposium will be webcast live at: http://mediacentrallive.princeton.edu/

The symposium will also be shown locally (Princeton, Princeton Junction, and West Windsor) on cable stations (Channel 21 for FiOS customers and Channel 27 for Xfinity/Comcast customers). Additionally, a video (with closed-captioning) of the symposium will be available for viewing at a later date through the Princeton & Slavery Project’s website.


Did You Know...?Money from Cuban plantations drove the expansion of the Princeton campus. Read More