MLA Proseminar: Comparative History of Slavery and Emancipation
This course is a graduate level readings seminar on the history of slavery and freedom. What did it mean to be an enslaved person? How did different societies view of the humanity of enslaved people differently? How did enslaved people understand their own condition? What brought an end to the widespread use of slave labor in the Atlantic world in the nineteenth century? What was the fate of newly freed people? We will consider several different slave societies, ranging from the ancient world to South Asia to the Atlantic slave trade of the fifteenth-nineteenth centuries, but the bulk of our readings will focus on slavery and emancipation in the Americas. Students are required to keep up with the weekly readings (approximately 400 pages per week) participate in class discussions, and write two short papers (3-4 pages each) and one long final paper (12-15 pages).