Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 April 2022
A contemporary anti-slavery movement has emerged in response to the diverse array of forms of forced labour that proliferate in the twenty-first-century global economy. The movement has encouraged survivors to speak out about their experiences of enslavement and to work as activists in a new abolitionist cause. As a result, the genre of the slave narrative, so popular among nineteenth-century abolitionists, has reemerged as a form of protest literature. This article suggests that by documenting the very fact of enslavement in the 21st century, the new slave narrators collectively reveal the widespread failure of the promises of globalisation, even as they celebrate their emergence into it. Through these narratives, we are able to discern the true contours of globalisation, the radical inequalities that remain and are fed by the transnational flow of commodities, including but not exclusively labour, and the slavery that is endemic and even encouraged in these global transactions.