Centre for the Study of the Literatures and Cultures of Slavery

The Centre for the Study of the Literatures and Cultures of Slavery

The Centre for the Study of the Literatures and Cultures of Slavery (CLCS) connects a series of research initiatives related to modern (1440-) forms of slavery and their past and present repercussions across continents. The centre has three main areas of inquiry: 1) The relationship between slavery and cultural production in the colonial world. The manufacture, circulation and reception of these products in the colonial world and the cultural expressions of the schism between the establishment of ‘universal’ rights in Europe and ongoing colonial slavery. 2) The processing of the memory and inheritance of slavery in its different forms in contemporary art and literature especially in relation to contemporary structures of diaspora and of racism in Europe and elsewhere. 3) Different cultural and literary reflections and interventions in relation to contemporary forms of slavery and slavery-like exploitation globally, including both surviving forms of ‘traditional’ slavery and new forms of exploitation generated by a globalized economy.

The centre has established contacts with top research centres on slavery around the world and has held a series of conferences related to the core topics mentioned above. We are currently putting together a three volume Comparative Literary History of Modern Slavery to be published with John Benjamin’s Press in 2019-20. Furthermore, the centre has been an active participant in the discussions about Denmark’s colonial past and contemporary repercussions in the form of memory politics and racism and has housed a number of seminars on this topic. We are currently working to establish a formal research collaboration with key scholars from Ghana to explore the shared history between Ghana and Denmark.

The centre houses the research project Reading slavery