Featuring Greg Grandin (History, NYU) in conversation with Laurent Dubois (Romance Studies and History, Duke University) and Duncan Faherty (English, The Graduate Center, CUNY).
One morning in 1805, off a remote island in the South Pacific, Captain Amasa Delano, a New England seal hunter, climbed aboard a distressed Spanish ship carrying scores of West Africans he thought were slaves. They weren’t. Having earlier seized control of the vessel and slaughtered most of the crew, they were staging an elaborate ruse, acting as if they were humble servants. When Delano, an idealistic, anti-slavery republican, finally realized the deception, he responded with explosive violence.
Drawing on research on four continents, The Empire of Necessity explores the multiple forces that culminated in this extraordinary event. Grandin uses the dramatic happenings of that day to map a new transnational history of slavery in the Americas, capturing the clash of peoples, economies, and faiths that was the New World in the early 1800s.
GREG GRANDIN is the author of a number of prize-winning books, including The Empire of Necessity and, just before that, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City (Metropolitan 2009). A professor of history at NYU and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Grandin writes on US foreign policy, Latin America, genocide, and human rights.
LAURENT DUBOIS is the author of Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004) and Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2010). Dubois is the Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History at Duke University, where he directs for the Forum for Scholars & Publics.
DUNCAN FAHERTY is the author of Remodeling the Nation: the Architecture of American Identity, 1776-1858. This interdisciplinary study argues that throughout the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a pervasive concern with the design and furnishing of houses helped post-Revolutionary Americans manage previous encounters with settlements, both native and European, and imagine and remodel a new national ideal.
December 4—On the Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World
Date: December 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Graduate Center, CUNY Room 9205
Address: 365 Fifth Ave., NY 10016 (View Map)