Workshop on Displaced Indigeneity, unsettling histories: forced migration, kinship and belonging

27 and 28 June 2023

This is a hybrid workshop that will take place at the University of Glasgow and online.

Keynote speakers: Andrés Reséndez and Nancy Van Deusen

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words by 30 January 2023 to julia.mcclure@Glasgow.ac.uk

This workshop, focusing on Indigenous histories, is one of the first of its kind in the UK, and it aims to bring Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous histories to greater attention of students and researchers and highlight the ways in which these histories have traditionally been sublimated by the majority of historical sub-disciplines. This workshop speaks to urgent questions about the exclusion of Indigenous peoples and perspectives from mainstream academic scholarship and aims to promote Indigenous histories in the UK, to address the afterlives of settler colonialism and Indigenous enslavement, and to consider the legacies of these histories in the UK today.

The workshop includes two outstanding keynote speakers – Andrés Reséndez (University of California, Davis) and Nancy Van Deusen (Queen’s University, Canada) – who are among the leading scholars in the field of global Indigenous enslavement studies, especially within the Latin American context. The workshop will also offer a public lecture from Caroline Dodds Pennock linked to the release of her major new trade book on Indigenous peoples, free and enslaved, in early modern Europe. It also offers a guided visit to the newly renovated Tlaxcala Codex in the University of Glasgow´s Special Collections.

This workshop is co-hosted by the University of Glasgow´s Global History Cluster and Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies. Subject to further funding, we hope to support early career scholars, especially those who are Black, Indigenous, or otherwise minoritised.

Indigeneity often speaks to people’s deep historic, spiritual, and political connection with place. Yet the long history of settler colonialism has enacted multiple processes of dis-placement, through forced migration, land and resource appropriation, enslavement, resettlement and concentration. While these violences have not always prevented Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous peoples’ kinship and belonging, dis-placed and dis-rupted Indigeneity has also had to create new methods of belonging within the dis-locating experiences of an ongoing colonialism. For many, especially the descendants of enslaved peoples, forced migration, disenfranchisement, and socio-economic and sociolegal inequalities have prevented access to categories of Indigeneity. 

This workshop seeks to make space for researchers – especially researchers who are Indigenous from postcolonial and contemporary settler states – to discuss the histories and legacies created by forced migrations and the critical fissures created by colonial pasts and presents. We intend this space to bring together historians and interdisciplinary scholars of Indigenous histories, broadly defined, from around the world, and for it to be the start of an ongoing conversation about Indigenous displacement and mobility, from pre-invasion and colonisation to their resonances in the present day.

Organised by

Leila Blackbird (University of Chicago), Caroline Dodds Pennock (University of Sheffield), and Julia McClure (University of Glasgow)

Sponsored by

Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies and Global History Research Cluster, University of Glasgow


First published: 29 September 2022