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Rage, Reckoning, & Remedy


In these times, a shifting world is upon us—one that demands a close examination of equality, freedom, and humanity. At the center of that critical examination are issues of race, colonialism, and the legacies of slavery. As communities demand an end to racial inequality, the urgency to grapple with the pains and realities of the past comes front and center.

While the history of slavery has been robustly centered in the United States, in reality, these global enterprises flourished the world over, creating human subjects and chattel of men, women, and children, in North America, South America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and other lands. Portuguese ships alone carried millions of Africans into slavery over a period of four centuries from the mid-15th century.

Even after slavery’s formal abolition, colonization became a rebranded form of human subjugation and subordination, seen vividly through the lenses of Europe’s imperial reaches into Asia and Africa, a precursor for modern forms of slavery and the predatory ways in which modern societies exploit the non-human environment. The violence and exploitation that resulted remains a point of social, legal, cultural and even ecological trauma today.

At the 2022 Global Law and Society meeting in Portugal, we will place these urgent issues at the forefront of our engagement, drawing upon law, history, art, sociology, psychology, politics and culture to give serious attention to the past, while drawing lessons and hope for the future.

Plenary sessions will take up these concerns and center important research and conversations about dismantling and reimagining social, legal, and political structures that perpetuate and instantiate racism and inequality in society. That is, even though slavery and colonialism are tragic common bonds and legacies in the modern world, this meeting will unpack how to move forward to forge more equitable societies.

A key part of our meeting, then, will involve critically examining the success and failures of prior efforts and strategies and remedies for reckoning with colonialism and slavery’s fraught pasts. We welcome scholars from throughout the world to substantively engage on these issues and envision a future that takes seriously the challenges of the past and present.

The 2022 Program Committee invites individual and fully-formed panel submissions for what will be an exciting and challenging meeting. As always, the Program Committee welcomes any scholar studying sociolegal questions to submit a paper proposal. While the pandemic situation remains challenging, we are currently planning for the conference itself to be largely in person, with a limited hybrid component. Any individual panel will be either entirely in person or entirely virtual. We may be able to expand the time slots for panels so as to enhance participation by international scholars unable to travel to Lisbon. For now, however, we request only the substantive proposals. The Program Committee also welcomes the submission of complete panels of four to five papers in languages other than English. Submissions of individual paper proposals will be accepted in English.

Michele Goodwin, Dee Smythe, and Pierre Guibentif
Co-Chairs of the Program Committee


Launch Chat