Minor in Black and African Diaspora Studies - Slavery and Freedom in the Americas HIST 3380   Slavery and Freedom in the Americas
This course will take a broad perspective on slavery by examining some of the defining features of forced labor throughout the Americas over the course of four centuries (with occasional examples from elsewhere in the world). To complicate the overly simplistic slave-free dichotomy and develop a more nuanced understanding of the denial of freedom, we will investigate not only chattel slavery but other systems of free and unfree labor that existed in the Americas, such as the encomienda, convict labor, debt bondage, serfdom, pauper apprenticeship, poorhouse and prison work, indentured servitude and wage labor. We will consider definitions and justifications of slavery (including racist ideology) that have been used by past and present theorists. To better understand the extent to which the working environment shaped the lives of the enslaved, we will compare the living and working conditions of laborers in a range of historical settings. We will conclude with a survey of the rise of free labor ideology, the impact of emancipation in the Americas and a glance at forced and free labor systems in the new millennium.
FORMAT: Seminar