CALL FOR PAPERS University of Baltimore Law Review Fall Symposium – 400 Years: Slavery and the Criminal Justice System

In recognition of the 400 years which have passed since enslaved people were first brought to the U.S., University of Baltimore Law Review’s Fall Symposium will use the history of American enslavement as a lens to discuss slavery’s evolution and its effects on our criminal justice system.

 We invite paper proposals that fit within the overreaching topic of the symposium and explore topics related to the following questions:

  • How has slavery affected the foundations of our current day legal system, specifically focusing on the U.S. Constitution?
  • What impact did the transatlantic slave trade have on today’s African-American community?
  • What effects did the Reconstruction Period (i.e. convict-leasing, Jim Crow laws, etc.) have on today’s Criminal Justice System?
  • What criminal justice policies have been adopted that have adversely affected African-Americans (i.e. 1994 Crime Bill, etc.)?
  • What relationship, if any, does the present-day issue of mass incarceration have to the past institution of slavery?
  • What effect has mass incarceration had on the civil liberties of the African-American community today (i.e. voter suppression, employment/educational opportunities, etc.)?

We welcome proposals that consider these and related questions from a variety of substantive disciplines and perspectives. The symposium is intended to serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners, and activists to share ideas about the governing topic, focusing on connections between theory and practice to effectuate social change. The symposium will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. The symposium will be held at the University of Baltimore School of Law on November 14 – November 16, 2019.

Abstracts of 250 to 500 words are due September 3, 2019.  To submit a paper proposal please complete this form:

We will notify presenters of selected papers by late September. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. For those authors selected for publication, final drafts of papers will be due no later than December 9, 2019. Presenters are responsible for their own travel costs; the conference will provide a discounted hotel rate as well as meals.

We hope you will join us in remembrance of the individuals who suffered from the institution of slavery through the transatlantic slave trade and to discuss the impact that slavery has had on the current state of our criminal justice system and the present-day issue of mass incarceration.  We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact the University of Baltimore Law Review at or

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