University of California Multi-Campus Research Unit on World History


Biannual Meeting and Dissertation Writing Workshop, May 28-30, 2004

University of California, Davis


Bondage, Subjugation and the New Slavery in Comparative World Perspective


The next meeting of the University of California Multi-Campus Research Unit on World History will be hosted by the Department of History and the Center for History, Society and Culture at UC Davis, May 28-30, 2004. The theme of this meeting will be slavery in its broadest and most inclusive sense. Slavery and bondage in their many guises are universal phenomena and at this meeting we would like to examine new approaches in comparative scholarship on servitude and human subjugation throughout world history. Any scholarship dealing with the political, social, economic, political or cultural dimensions of human subjugation throughout the world, including North America, will be considered. Papers that adopt a cross-cultural or inter-regional approach, including research beyond strictly historical disciplinary boundaries, and scholarship connecting contemporary human trafficking or "neo-slavery" to earlier regional or economic antecedents are particularly welcome. In keeping with the broad mandate of the MRU project, which seeks to explore both scholarship and pedagogy in world history, we invite papers or panels, which examine new approaches to the teaching of slavery and/or world history. As always, we entertain submission of "off-theme" papers, and expect to have some space in the program for other work on world history. In this connection, proposals that build on and advance discussions from earlier MRU meetings are especially welcome.


The MRU will cover transport and accommodations costs for UC faculty and graduate student participants, with preference for paper-givers, as far as funds permit. Funds may also be available for non-UC participants, with preference for faculty at California institutions. Please send proposals for papers/panels to Benjamin N. Lawrance at and requests for accommodations to Shadi Singh at The deadline is March 15, 2004.

Dissertation Workshop for Graduate Students in History

The Department of History is organizing a dissertation workshop for graduate students to be held Friday, May 28, 2004, immediately prior to the May meeting of the World History MRU. This workshop will be directed toward students doing world or US history topics and/or students who want to re-orient work originally conceived in a more conventional framework toward world history. Ideally, students applying will have already completed a substantial portion of their dissertation, but we will consider applications from students who have an advanced dissertation abstract. Proposals will be pre-circulated among participants one month prior to the meeting. The model for this dissertation workshop is the celebrated UC Berkeley International & Area Studies Westerbeke Ranch retreat. We hope this opportunity will assist students both with the substance of their work and with preparing to face a job market in which they will need to present themselves as both world and national/regional historians. Funds will be available for transportation and accommodation as per above, with the assumption that the participants also attend the conference on Saturday and Sunday. Proposals for participation should be sent to Benjamin N. Lawrance at with a letter of support from the student's primary advisor. The deadline for this is earlier than the conference, March 1st.


Meeting Chairs:

Benjamin N. Lawrance (History)

Clarence E. Walker (History)

David Kyle (Sociology)

Bill Hagen (History & CHSC)

Sally McKee (History)

Department of History World History Area Committee