Readings in American Slavery
This course will delve into how and what historians have written about US slavery for the last century or so. Rather than marching through time, like we might in a survey course, we’ll explore the nooks and crannies of slavery’s history. We’ll consider gender and sexuality, labor and capitalism, regional difference, maritime culture, and every day life. We’ll compare histories produced well before the Civil Rights Movement to books written afterward. We’ll consider the obstacles and challenges Black scholars faced in the academy and consider the significance of their work. Finally, we’ll examine slavery’s role in today’s world, beginning with the institution’s relationship with American universities and continuing on to the recent protests against monuments and statues.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Four written essays/reviews, final paper. Students must also complete reading and contribute to class discussions.
Priority given to History, American Studies, and Africana Studies concentrators/ majors.
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course will explicitly examine how power worked and changed during the centuries of legal slavery in the United States. Since lawmakers joined power and violence to definitions of whiteness and blackness, we will study how these definitions emerged and changed over time. Students will address issues of violence, legal and extra legal means of continuing slavery through changing political and economic conditions. Additionally, the course will consider the racial barriers in the academy.