Person giving talk at the front of the room with people in audience

“Forced Labor and Maritime Art: Finding Slaves in Seventeenth-Century France”

The next Social Justice Research Lunch Series will feature a talk by Gillian Weiss, associate professor of history.

In her collaborative book project, Weiss explores the role of forced labor in maritime art produced and displayed in 17th-century France. Her talk will consider how revealing the historical presence of Muslims and the persistence of slavery reverberates in current debates about Islam, immigration, integration and citizenship.

Titled “Forced Labor and Maritime Art: Finding Slaves in Seventeenth-Century France,” the lecture will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in Crawford Hall, Room A13.

Lecture details

Historians long assumed that after the medieval period, slavery vanished from metropolitan France and re-emerged only in its American colonies. In fact, thousands of enslaved Muslims and convicts labored for King Louis XIV, who reigned from 1643 to 1715. Besides rowing his Mediterranean galleys, these servile oarsmen helped build and decorate naval vessels and other artworks that proclaimed royal supremacy.

Those interested should RSVP to

Series details

The Social Justice Research Lunch Series features monthly events where faculty and researchers across academic disciplines present how social justice is central to their research. Question and answer sessions to follow presentations.

Attendees should bring their lunch. Drinks and desserts will be provided.