AMST 215
Capitalism and Slavery Spring 2010
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed AFR 215 / AMST 215
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

How can we understand a society organized around controlling some people as private property, to be used and exchanged by other people? How does this relate to a society organized around the universal individual ownership of commodities, and the value that arises from their use and exchange? Slavery is often understood to precede capitalism in economic and social history. This course examines slavery and capitalism as mutually constitutive, one defining the other. In a survey of scholarship theorizing the capitalism and slavery relationship, we will examine key questions of historical precedent and relationship between these social systems, the place of slavery in analyses of capitalism, and, centrally, the struggles of enslaved people to contest their commodification, and the influence of those struggles on life in capitalist society. This course will fulfill the Exploring Diversity Initiative, examining how the organization of power and privilege in societies based on slavery continues to manifest in capitalism. Focusing on slavery and capitalism in the U.S., we will follow the lingering traces of slavery up to the present day.
The Class: Format: discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 17
Class#: 3120
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation and three review essays (5-7 pages each)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: American Studies majors
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 215 Division II AMST 215 Division II
Attributes: AFR Interdepartmental Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora

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