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Black presence in Early Modern France

Les minorités noires en France à l'époque moderne

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Published on Monday, May 13, 2019


Lumières is a journal published by the Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux for the University Bordeaux Montaigne. Its 34th issue, scheduled for June 2020, will focus on Black minorities in France during the Early Modern period. Black studies are far from being a novelty in France, with several in-depth studies already published over the past ten years. Nevertheless, these researches tend to focus always on the same period (the pre-revolutionary years)and the same cities (Paris or Bordeaux). The 34th issue of the Lumières journal aims to provide other points of view and open up research opportunities: therefore, it will put forward new studies in order to show how diverse the experiences of Black people living in France during the Early Modern period were.



Black studies in France suffer from several blind spots: here are some proposals of researches to fill theses gaps but you’re welcomed to suggest any other idea that may seem relevant. 

First, studying the presence of Black people in European countryside is a new inspiring issue, as proved by the University of Nottingham and the Institute for the Study of Slavery, with their program called “Black presences and the legacies of slavery and colonialism in rural Britain, c.1600-1939”. Nevertheless, this research field remains widely untouched in France, even though main French cities were often the starting point for settlements in the hinterland. Therefore, it would be interesting to question the specificities of Black people’s experiences in French rural areas. 

Moreover, Black Studies in France are mostly built using the same materials, namely maritime papers and census. Consequently, a huge range of archives remains untouched such as notarial archives, newspapers or court and parish records. Yet, these archives are essential in order to deepen our knowledge of the different groups living in mainland France, ranging from slaves to wealthy free people of color, and to study the interactions between Black, white and so-called “mixed-race” inhabitants. The study of Black women in France is also yet to be made. 

Finally, contributors are invited to consider the issue of black presence in France in a broader chronology: if the 18th century is a key issue due to the editorial policy of the Lumières journal, incursions into the 16th and 17th century are accepted, in order to better understand the first stages of Black presence in France. In the same way, Revolution and Empire are included into the scope of this issue as these decades have been critical for the evolution of Black immigration in France and the political emancipation of this group. 

How to send proposals 

Proposals for articles (maximal length of 500 words), should be submitted

before 15 September 2019

to the following address: julie.duprat@enc-sorbonne.fr 

The selected proposals have to be returned before December 15, 2019. They may be written in French or English and must not exceed 35,000 characters (including spaces). They should be accompanied by a short summary in French and English and five key words in both languages. 

Scientific Committee

  • Julie Duprat : julie.duprat@enc-sorbonne.fr
  • Tristan Coignard : tristan.coignard@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr
  • Aurelia Gaillard : aurelia.gaillard@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr
  • Jean Mondot : jean.mondot@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr


  • Sunday, September 15, 2019


  • black history, minorité, noir, créole, esclave, libre de couleur


  • Julie Duprat
    courriel : julie [dot] duprat [at] enc-sorbonne [dot] fr

Information source

  • Julie Duprat
    courriel : julie [dot] duprat [at] enc-sorbonne [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Black presence in Early Modern France », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, May 13, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/12mw

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