CFP | Due 27 Mar 2023 | Scipio Kennedy: Encountering Children in Empires | National Trust for Scotland & Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies Symposium

CFP Scipio Kennedy: Encountering Children in Empires

National Trust for Scotland & Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies Symposium 2023

Culzean Castle, 14 – 15 September 2023

The deadline submission is Monday 27th March.

This symposium, hosted by the National Trust for Scotland, will bring together people and organisations interested in new and creative ways to explore the history of children in the British Empire. The central focus, and inspiration for the event, is the life of Scipio Kennedy, an enslaved child brought to Culzean Castle, who lived his life and had his own children on this Ayrshire estate. Little is known about him, or where he came from, reflecting a more general difficulty with exploring the history of enslaved people in colonial archives. When tackling children or childhood, these archival silences deepen. 

In memory of Scipio and his life, then, we would like to invite proposals for a day-long symposium addressing encounters with children and childhood in the British Empire. We are interested in discussing and highlighting the histories of enslaved, colonised and otherwise marginalised children in colonial spaces, from country houses like Culzean Castle, to the experiences of children in cosmopolitan city spaces. 

Formal presentations, discussion panels, and creative interventions are welcome. Themes include, but are not limited to:

  • slavery and childhood
  • colonial childhoods
  • children and forced migration
  • redefining the family
  • children and forced labour.  

The aims of the symposium are to engender new collaborations and working partnerships between participants, enrich the visitor experience at Culzean with new insights about the life of Scipio, and engage with local communities to co-produce new research. 

Submission details:

We welcome abstracts of max. 350 words. The deadline submission is Monday 27th March.

For selected submissions, the final draft submission is Friday 1st September, with papers ready to be presented at the conference venue.

Conference format:

Speakers will have approximately 20 minutes to present their paper, with additional time for questions.

Workshops & other creative interventions will have between 30 – 45 minutes for each session.

Submission of abstracts:

If you wish to submit an abstract, max. 350 words, please email it to

Your covering email should include:

  • Whether you are submitting a research paper or another form of research engagement (i.e., workshop, panel, creative intervention)
  • Your name
  • Affiliation / role (where applicable)
  • Email

Further information

If you have any queries, please contact Claire,