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Exhibition & Talks: "Invisible Bodies, Disposable Cloth: Rhode Island and Slavery, 1783-1850's"

This exhibition explores Rhode Island’s textile industry and its connections to slavery, the slave trade and other related institutions from 1783 to the 1850s.

In 1703, Rhode Island recognized and legalized enslavement. Just over one hundred years later, the United States Congress passed a federal law banning the international slave trade, which curiously heralded a boom in the domestic slave trade. Slavery was not outlawed in Rhode Island until 34 years later.

With particular emphasis on Rhode Island’s economy from 1783 to the 1850s, this exhibition will use text, images, artifacts, and multimedia installation to explore the interdependence of our country’s economy and its intrinsic links with the institution of slavery, and the international and domestic slave trades.

On Friday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to noon, author Christy Clark-Pujara, author of “Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island”  will meet with URI Women and Gender Studies students in the Galanti Lounge of the Carothers Library and Learning Commons. This will be followed by lunch and a student conversation with the author facilitated by Earl N. Smith III, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m..

From 4 to 5 p.m. there will be a guided tour of the gallery exhibit.

The program also includes a talk by Clark-Pujara at 6 p.m., at URI, 45 Upper College Road, Kingston.

The exhibit and talks are part of Black History Month.

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Fine Arts Center, Main Gallery
105 Upper College Rd, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA

Event Type



College of Arts and Sciences, African and Afro-American Studies, Center for the Humanities, Art Galleries, Community, Equity and Diversity


Art & Art History Department
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Bob Dilworth or Karen de Bruin

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