On 13-14 March, 30 historians from all over the world met in Lyon, France, for the conference 'Capture, Bondage, and Forced Relocation in Asia (1400-1900)'. Most of the attentions of historians has traditionally been devoted to slavery in the Atlantic world. However, studies of Asian conditions have grown in the last few decades, and the Lyon conference clearly showed how much this field of study has matured, as new sources have been scrutinized and new methodologies tried out.
The presentations covered various aspects of slavery, servitude, captives in warfare and raiding, and hereditary bondsmen. These aspects include acquisition and transportation of bonded labour, child slavery, forms of slave resistance, economic slaving zones, emancipation, and methods of constructing databases for slave trade. While slavery in the western Indian Ocean world and insular Southeast Asia has been researched for some years, other regions such as South Asia, China and Japan are typically understudied in this respect, but were duly covered at the conference. The presentations were thoroughly of high academic quality and generated lively discussions. Some of the more innovative contributions are scheduled for an issue in the well-known French history journal Annales. The event was organized by Claude Chevaleyre, ENS de Lyon, and Jennifer Gaynor, University of Buffalo, and was funded by the Concurrences research center, Linnaeus University, and the Crafoord Foundation, Lund. The conference was held within the ESTA network (Exploring Slave Trade in Asia), which will arrange future workshops in Germany (2010) and Sweden (2021).