Conference programme and registration – Frederick Douglass across and against Times, Places, and Disciplines

Image courtesy: American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA
Image courtesy: American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA

Frederick Douglass across and against Times, Places, and Disciplines

October 11-13 2018, Paris

We are delighted to share the program for the Frederick Douglass bicentennial conference that will be held in Paris in October 2018 (see below / programme is also available online:

This conference will be an opportunity to reexamine the figure of Frederick Douglass across times, places, and disciplines.

We invite all those interested to join us in Paris, from October 11 to October 13, 2018.

Registration is now open to attendees and will be available until September 15, 2018.
On-site registration WILL NOT be available.

N.B. Due to security measures, only registered participants (plenary speakers, paper presenters and registered accompanying persons, chairs, attendees) can attend the sessions.

Please fill in the registration form (downloadable from the conference website: and email it both to and together with proof of payment before September 15, 2018. Please note that attendance is free of charge for French and foreign students, but registration is compulsory.

A list of hotels located close to the conference venues is available online:

We look forward to welcoming you in Paris in the fall. Feel free to contact us ( if you have any questions.

Claire Bourhis-Mariotti, on behalf of the organizing committee.


Thursday, October 11

Université Paris Diderot
Halle aux farines
10 rue Françoise Dolto, 75013 Paris

08:30-9:15 Registration

9:15-10:45 Session 1

1A Douglass’s Black Worlds: African American Political and Religious Circles and Circuits

Douglass’s Madison Washington, Afro-Protestantism, and the Embodied Divine Denise Burgher, University of Delaware

Good Religion and Bad Faith in the Age of Abolition: Frederick Douglass’s Afro-Evangelicalism Maurice Wallace, University of Virginia

Frederick Douglass and the Long History of Colored Convention Activism P. Gabrielle Foreman, University of Delaware

Chair: Robert Fanuzzi, St. John’s University

1B Autobiography, Revision, and Recirculation

Self-Invention and Revision in the Serial Autobiographies of Douglass and Rev. Peter T. Stanford Barbara McCaskill, University of Georgia
Sidonia Serafini, University of Georgia

Born Free and Everywhere in Chains: Moral Freedom and the Social Contract in Frederick Douglass’s Autobiographical Project

Scott Reznick, Boston College

“I Hear the Mournful Wails of Millions!”: The American Dream as Nightmare in Native American and African American Autobiographies

Fabrice Le Corguillé, Université de Bretagne Occidentale Chair: Agnès Derail, École normale supérieure

10:45-11:15 Refreshment Break

11:15-1:15 Session 2

2A A Mighty Power: Douglass and Photography

Frederick Douglass Alongside Himself

Laura Wexler, Yale University
Douglass’s Construction of the Photographic: “Fugitive Images,” Panoramas and Fiction

Bruno Monfort, Université Paris Nanterre
Multiple Exposures: Douglass’s Photographic Autobiography and the Aesthetics of Reform

Janene Johnson, Bridgewater State University

The Impossible Science of the Unique Being: Modernity and Photography in Poe, Baudelaire and Douglass

Pierangelo Castagneto, American University in Bulgaria

Chair: François Brunet, Université Paris Diderot

2B Reformers and Radicals in the World of Frederick Douglass (1)

What to the Negro Was William Jay? A Fugitive Historical Sequel David Gellman, DePauw University

Frederick Douglass vs Henry Bibb: A Reappraisal
Sandrine Ferré-Rode, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

JB & FD & CW: Geographical Meditations on John Brown and Frederick Douglass Nele Sawallisch, Johannes Gutenberg Universität–Mainz

Black Abolitionist John Andrew Jackson and the Long Shadow of Frederick Douglass’s Heroic Slave Susanna Ashton, Clemson University

Chair: Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut

2C War, Violence, and Trauma

Virtual Douglass: Estranging the Temporality of Violence Christina Zwarg, Haverford College

“The Remorseless Jaws of Slavery”: Douglass and the Rhetoric of Consumption Erin Pearson, Elon University

Children’s Bodies, Adult Unease: Douglass, Melville, and Early Trauma James Noel, Los Medanos College

“They Would Spare Neither Age Nor Sex”: Frederick Douglass’s Visions of Race War and Extermination in America

Kay Wright Lewis, Howard University Chair: Marc Amfreville, Sorbonne Université

1:15-2:30 Lunch Break

2:30-4:30 Session 3

3A Intertextual Douglass

Whose Literary Influence? Douglass, Shakespeare, and American Romanticism David Greven, University of South Carolina

Cavalier and Abolitionist: The Recovery of Walter Scott in the Context of Abolition Pauline Pilote, Université Bretagne Sud

“A Chield’s amang You, Taking Notes”: Douglass as a Reader of Burns and Scott Alasdair Pettinger

“People not Pistols”: The Rhetoric of Slavery and Black Rebellion in Frederick Douglass and Emily Dickinson

Wendy Tronrud, CUNY Graduate Center
Chair: Cécile Roudeau, Université Paris Diderot
3B I Longed to Have a Future: Douglass in Our Time

Public Celebration of Frederick Douglass’s Birth Frank Faragasso

Douglas Stover
Transcending Bonds and Borders: Slave Narratives in the 21st Century

Johanna Rios, South Texas College

The “Saving Principles” of “Our Common Creed”: The Radical Whiggism of Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama

Steven Sarson, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3
“Schools of Abolition,” and the Search for the Black University

Robert Fanuzzi, St. John’s University
Chair: Nele Sawallisch, Johannes Gutenberg Universität–Mainz

4:30-5:30 Break
To allow time for traveling between the two venues, the program includes a one-hour break between Session 3 and the plenary talk

Cité Universitaire
Fondation des États-Unis
15 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris

5:30-6:30 Plenary 1

On Heroic Reading: Frederick Douglass and the Atlantic World after 1845

Lloyd Pratt

Drue Heinz Professor of American Literature

St. John’s College, University of Oxford

6:30-8:00 Evening Reception

Friday, October 12

University of Chicago Center in Paris 6 rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris

08:30-9:15 Registration

9:15-10:45 Session 4

4A Douglass in Print

Frederick Douglass, Julia Griffiths, and Collaborative Autobiography Alex Black, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

“To Know the Facts of His Remarkable History”: Bibliography and African American Literature Michael Winship, University of Texas at Austin

“Nobody But a Printer Anyhow”: Frederick Douglass, Lewis Douglass, and the Book Trades Jonathan Senchyne, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Chair: Claire Parfait, Université Paris 13

4B Tongues in Trees: Douglass, Science, and the Environment

Astronomical Memory: Douglass, the Leonid Meteor Shower, and the Fugitive Science of Black Astronomy

Gordon Fraser, North Dakota State University
“The Poets Love of Nature”: Frederick Douglass the Global Naturalist

Ka’mal McClarin, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site “So Broken Was Their Speech”: Frederick Douglass’s Literacies

Sharon Kunde, University of California, Irvine Chair: Thomas Constantinesco, Université Paris Diderot 4C Displacing Douglass

The Translation and Reception of Frederick Douglass in Spain Pere Gifra-Adroher, Universitat Pompeu Fabra–Barcelona

Frederick Douglass in Japan: Reception and Research from the 1930s to the Present Soonyoung Park, Kinjo Gakuin University–Nagoya

Teaching and Mapping Intergenerational Black American Culture in Paris through the Life, Writing, and Travels of Frederick Douglass

Rhae Lynn Barnes, Princeton University

Chair: Hélène Le Dantec-Lowry, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 

10:45-11:15 Refreshment Break


11:15-1:15 Session 5

5A Our Bondage and Our Freedom: Frederick Douglass and Family and the “Struggle for Liberty”

Celeste-Marie Bernier, University of Edinburgh Alan Rice, University of Central Lancashire Fionnghuala Sweeney, Newcastle University Andrew Taylor, University of Edinburgh

Chair: Robert S. Levine, University of Maryland

5B In the Firmament of Nations: Douglass and/in Haiti

Frederick Douglass, the Mission to Santo Domingo, and the “Negro Problem” Claire Bourhis-Mariotti, Université Paris 8

Frederick Douglass’s Haiti: In Writing and Diplomacy Ronald Angelo Johnson, Texas State University

Douglass and the Press: Haiti, Manhood, and the American Empire John Michael, University of Rochester

Frederick Douglass and the French Abolition of Slavery in 1848: An Inspiration for Black Liberation in the United States?

Yohanna Alimi-Levy, Université Paris Dauphine Chair: Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, Université Paris Diderot 

1:15-2:30 Lunch Break


2:30-4:30 Session 6
6A Postbellum Douglass

“They Are Blind to the Abilities of Colored Men”: The Douglass Family, African Americans, and the United States Civil Service

Andrew Cohen, Syracuse University

Douglass, the “Corpse” of the Freedman’s Bank and the Recomposition of the African American Advocacy Networks, 1871-1884

Evelyne Payen-Variéras, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 Frederick Douglass and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

Robert S. Levine, University of Maryland

Statuary Douglass: Commemoration and the Thwarted Aspiration of Late Nineteenth-Century Black Working-Class Activism

Stephen Shapiro, University of Warwick
Chair: Nicolas Barreyre, École des hautes études en sciences sociales 6B The Limitations of Frederick Douglass’s Freedom Vision

“Cracks in the Race”: Frederick Douglass and the African American Struggle for Freedom and Equality

Larry E. Hudson, University of Rochester

Deserting Douglass: Frederick Douglass’s Freedom Vision and the Slave Soldiers who Fled Military Service

Jonathan Lande, Brown University
The Danger of Nostalgia: Frederick Douglass and the Abolitionist Memory Wars

Frank Cirillo, New-York Historical Society Respondent: Douglas R. Egerton, Le Moyne College

Chair: L. Diane Barnes

5:00-6:00 Plenary 2

The Book I Did Not Write: Other Approaches to Women in the World of Frederick Douglass

Leigh Fought
Associate Professor of History
Le Moyne College

6:00-7:30 Evening Reception

Saturday, October 13

Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 Institut du monde anglophone
5 rue de l’École de Médecine, 75006 Paris

9:15-11:15 Session 7

7A Philosophy, Power, and Pictures

Douglass and Immaterialism
Cody Marrs, University of Georgia

Looking at the Emperor: Imperial Visibility in Douglass and Barthes Elizabeth Duquette, Gettysburg College

Civil Religion in the Discourse of Frederick Douglass Souad Berbar, Tlemcen University

“Our Natural Powers are the Foundations of Our Natural Rights”: The Centrality of Power to Frederick Douglass’s Political Philosophy

Nick Bromell, University of Massachusetts Amherst
“Ours Is a Common Lot”: The Heroic Slave or the Contingency of the Commons

Cécile Roudeau, Université Paris Diderot

Chair: Brigitte Fielder, University of Wisconsin–Madison

7B Time, Place, and the Meaning of Freedom

“I Shall Be Frederick Douglass Still”: Abolitionist Debate over Buying Freedom Julia W. Bernier, Georgetown University

Freedom Moments in African American Slave Narratives Edward Sugden, King’s College London

The Function of Time in Frederick Douglass’s “Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln” Bjørn F. Stillion Southard, University of Georgia

“I Have Myself Gone . . . with Almost Electric Speed”: Mapping Frederick Douglass’s Abolitionist Networks and British Journeys, 1845-1886

Hannah-Rose Murray, University of Nottingham
Chair: Celeste-Marie Bernier, University of Edinburgh

7C Reformers and Radicals in the World of Frederick Douglass (2)

Strained Solidarity: Frederick Douglass and Robert Purvis
A J Aiséirithe, Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Community

Harriet and John Jacobs’s Rochester
Jonathan Schroeder, University of Warwick

The Famous Friendship of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Carol Faulkner, Syracuse University

Frederick Douglass’s Remarriage in Perspective
Hélène Quanquin, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3

Chair: Leigh Fought, Le Moyne College

10:45-11:15 Refreshment Break 

11:15-12:15 Plenary 3

Frederick Douglass and the Book

Michaël Roy
Maître de conférences en études américaines Université Paris Nanterre

12:15-1:30 Lunch Break

1:30-3:00 Roundtable
Beyond the Bicentennial: A Roundtable

Reconstruction Childhood Family Synchrony Fugitivity

Douglas R. Egerton, Le Moyne College
Brigitte Fielder, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Ezra Greenspan, Dedman College, Southern Methodist University Robert S. Levine, University of Maryland
Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut

Chairs: Claire Bourhis-Mariotti, Université Paris 8; Hélène Quanquin, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 Cécile Roudeau, Université Paris Diderot

Organizing committee: Claire Bourhis-Mariotti, Université Paris 8; Agnès Derail, École normale supérieure; Hélène Le Dantec-Lowry, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3; Claire Parfait, Université Paris 13; Hélène Quanquin, Université de Lille; Cécile Roudeau, Université Paris Diderot; Michaël Roy, Université Paris Nanterre.

Citer ce billet
Lauric Henneton (2018, 12 juin). Conference programme and registration – Frederick Douglass across and against Times, Places, and Disciplines. R E D E H J A. Consulté le 2 mars 2024, à l’adresse

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