Islands and Isolation – BSECS Conference 4-6 January


Abolition, slavery, the Caribbean, convict transportation, proto-democracy are among the subjects of papers at panels in the annual Conference of the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies 4-6 January. I am presenting two papers.

Friday kicks off at 11.15am with Dr Olivette Otele (Bath Spa University) giving the keynote talk: Remembering, Forgetting and Memorialising Histories in Contemporary Europe.

Olivette specialises in European colonial and post-colonial history, including questions relating to the transatlantic slave trade, slave societies, identities and post-colonial societies in the Atlantic world. Her current research centres around transnational history and in particular the link between history, collective memory and geopolitics in relation to British and French colonial pasts. She charts and analyses the ways in which Britain and France have been addressing questions of citizenship, race and identity through the politics of remembrance. She also enquires into the value of public gestures, the meaning of public history and the impact of cultural memory.

The panels and their papers perhaps of most interest to readers of this blog are:

Connections and conflicts: Islands and the British Empire in the Age of Sail

John McAleer. ‘Appurtenances of empire’: Atlantic islands and Britain’s eighteenth-century world

Douglas Hamilton. Islands and empires in the British eighteenth-century Caribbean

James Davey. Britain’s European island empire, 1793-1815

The Momentum of Change: Three Views on Abolitionism

Anna Harrington. ‘The subject had often employed his thoughts’: William Wilberforce and the beginning of the Abolition campaign

Conrad Brunstrom. “’Till Conquest cease, and slav’ry be no more”?: Poetry, slavery, and the paradoxes of maritime freedom.

Sean Creighton. The Princess of Zanfara and Bewick’s Kneeling Slave 

Agrarian and Ecological Debates in the Global Eighteenth Century 

Ramesh Mallipeddi. Race and Ecology in the Eighteenth-Century British Caribbean, 1627-1765

Shelise Robertson. A Voyage to Jamaica: Hans Sloane, Slavery, and Natural History

James Fisher. ‘He has good hands, but a bad head’: Dividing Mental and Manual Labour on an Eighteenth-Century Farm 

Island to Island: Lost in Translation 

Alissandra Cummins. The Commodification of Colour: Representing Identity in the Visual Histories of the Caribbean.

Lissa Paul. What You See Depends On How You Look:

Reading Eliza Fenwick from British and Caribbean Perspectives.

Brycchan Carey. The whole Island is become a kind of a rock’: sugar, slavery, and ecological catastrophe in Barbados, 1640–1750

Isolation – or worse – by jury: Penal Transportation and Execution 

Mika Suzuki. Transportation, Justice and Creativity

Alix Chartrand. Shared experience of punishment? Irish and Indian convicts at the turn of the nineteenth century

Callum Easton. Contested Memory Formation and the 1797 Fleet Mutinies

Antiquary, Travel Writer, Publisher: Female Virtuosity in the Realms of Commerce and the Imagination

Helen Williams. Ann Fisher’s Almanac and the Newcastle Book Trade

Standing Up to be Counted: Re-evaluating Eighteenth-Century Popular & Electoral Politics

Penelope J. Corfield. Counting Votes: The Eighteenth-Century Emergence of a Constitutionalist Culture

Sean Creighton. The Role of Petitioning at Local Level: Newcastle Common Council from the 1780s to 1820s

Frank O’Gorman. Phases of Democracy: Proto-Democracy in Eighteenth-Century Elections?

The draft programme is downloadable here:


Conference registration can be done through:



About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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