Matthew Smith - Inaugural Professorial Lecture

A Troubling Freedom: Power and Memories of Slavery

The lecture was given on 4 March 2022.

It took nearly a century for chattel slavery to be abolished in the Caribbean. It took even longer for the countries of the region to become independent of their colonial rulers. The resonances of these two deeply linked processes are indelible, rising more sharply during moments of political and social tension. Drawing on two decades of research, this presentation reflects on how legacies of slavery have been marshalled by various publics since the nineteenth century and considers what collective and political remembrances, especially after decolonization, reveal about the evolution of Caribbean history making.

The lecture can be seen on the UCL Youtube channel at this link.

About the speaker

Professor Matthew J. Smith is Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery. Previously he taught at the University of the West Indies, Mona in Jamaica. His special interest is in the post slavery political, social and migratory histories of Haiti and Jamaica.
You can read more about him here.