The Center for the Study of Global Slavery (CSGS) researches and interprets slavery and its afterlives, revealing its deep global connections and impact as well as recognizing the resistance and resilience of people of African descent across the diaspora.
Built upon international collaboration, the CSGS provides an understanding of slavery as a shared human history beyond region, nation, and race – as something crucial to understanding our local communities, national identities, and global societies in the 21st century.
The Center for the Study of Global Slavery:
- Advances the understanding of the history and impact of slavery through innovative research, scholarship, and compelling outreach initiatives
- Traces slavery’s complex trajectories and enduring legacies – across history and across the world
- Develops public engagement opportunities and builds social, educational, and economic capacity in communities both local and global
- Creates new ways of understanding the past in order to transform the present through repair, reckoning, and social justice
Slavery haunts us in the 21st century. In our parks and town squares, in our museums and institutions of higher learning, in social media and online, the legacies of slavery are embedded in how our economies are structured, our landscapes are shaped, our social worlds are formed and our relationships are built. Slavery’s legacies are growing more visible and virulent—increasingly informing the tangible realities of everyday. We witness them in cities and communities across the nation and around the globe through acts of oppression and resistance.
We experience slavery’s legacies in debates about Confederate monuments in the U.S.A.; in contestations over the unearthing of slave wharves in Brazil; in recognitions of the slave trade as a fundamental economic engine that built the wealth of historic European seaports; in questions about the continued economic impoverishment of African nations; the exclusion of African-descended peoples throughout the diaspora; the resurgence of white nationalism, questions over citizenship and belonging for formerly colonized peoples; anxieties over migrants and refugees; and modern movements toward repair and restorative justice.
People around the world are embroiled in debates and are grappling with questions about the continued resonance of anti-black racism and other forms of inequality in our communities and nations. Why are we still here at the outset of the twenty-first century? The Center for the Study of Global Slavery is built to illuminate these issues, untangle these questions, and work to transform a world still living in slavery’s wake.
Paul Gardullo, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Global Slavery
The Center for the Study of Global Slavery (CSGS) hosts two groundbreaking projects, the Slave Wrecks Project and the Global Curatorial Project. The CSGS engages a host of global partners in order to tell a more complete story about slavery and its afterlives, and to drive innovative forms of research across the diaspora. These partnerships are crucial to advancing the mission of the CSGS.
Slave Wrecks Project partners include:
- The George Washington University (Co-convening partner)
- Diving With a Purpose
- National Park Service–Submerged Resources Center
- National Park Service–Southeast Archeological Center
- Iziko Museums of South Africa
as well as a host of other local and regional partners in Africa, the Caribbean, and North and South America.
Global Curatorial Project partners include:
- Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University, U.S.A. (Co-convening partner)
- Iziko Museums Slave Lodge, South Africa
- Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium
- The Shackles of Memory (Les Anneaux de la Mémoire), France
- Château des ducs de Bretagne, France
- Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire, Senegal
- International Slavery Museum, United Kingdom
- Legacies of British Slave-Ownership Project, United Kingdom
Slave Wrecks Project
In Slavery's Wake
Explore the Collection
Discover objects from the Museum's collection related to global slavery and freedom