Thursday, March 1, 2018

Voices in the Legal Archives in the French Atlantic

[Via H-Law, we have the following announcement.]

The central aim of this conference is to draw together a dynamic group of international scholars from France, Canada, and the United States whose work stands at the interface of two emerging sub-disciplines:  the history of the French Atlantic and the "new legal history" whose central vector insists on shifting the focus of the field beyond legal structures and frameworks, towards an understanding of how law was actively shaped and applied through the lives and experiences of ordinary men and women.  By uncovering and identifying the "voices" of slaves, indentured servants, artisans, aboriginal people, women entrepreneurs, peasants, merchants, planter elites and government officials, we aim to provide a richer understanding of the ways in which French law was understood and integrated into the lives of ordinary people involved in the 18th century colonial enterprise.  We hope, therefore, to open up new scholarly conversations which seek to reimagine the French colonial world as less the product of metropolitan influences than a process shaped by a multiplicity of actors.

The organizers gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; The L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University; Office of the President, McMaster University; Dean of Humanities, McMaster University; Department of History, McMaster University; Department of History, University of Western Ontario; McNeil Centre for Early American Studies.

For details regarding program and registration, please visit [here], or contact

Michael Gauvreau (Department of History, McMaster University)
Nancy Christie (Department of HIstory, University of Western Ontario)