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RAHS Day Lecture – No Slavery in a Free Land? Anti-Slavery and Australia

September 7 @ 13:00 - 14:00

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Shortly before the First Fleet departed for Botany Bay, the first governor of New South Wales, Captain Arthur Phillip envisaged a future colonial society, declaring, famously, ‘[t]hat there can be no slavery in a free land, and consequently no slaves.’ From Britain’s first plans to establish a penal colony in Australia, ideas about its future were closely linked to contemporary debates about abolition. In this lecture Professor Jane Lydon will explore the complex relationship between the anti-slavery movement and the transportation of British convicts to Australia, expanding the analysis of Britain’s abolition of slavery to consider global processes of emigration and settler colonialism.

About the speaker: Professor Jane Lydon is the Wesfarmers Chair of Australian History at The University of Western Australia. Her books include Imperial Emotions: The Politics of Empathy Across the British Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2019) which examines the way that emotional narratives created relationships across the British empire, throughout the nineteenth century and into the present, and a study of the British anti-slavery movement and Australian colonisation during the nineteenth century, titled No Slavery in a Free Land? Anti-Slavery and Australia, 1780-1900 (Routledge 2021).


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Anti-Slavery and Australia
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September 7
13:00 - 14:00


Royal Australian Historical Society
(02) 9247 8001
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