The Slaves’ Gamble

The Slaves’ Gamble

Professor Gene Allen Smith who works at Texas Christian University and is a curator at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History wrote an interesting book on the impact of war on early nineteenth century slavery at the Antebellum American South. In this book Allen Smith is trying to explore the possibilities for social mobility among the slaves and freedmen. Specifically, the author focuses on the American wars against the British, the Spanish and various Indian tribes as well as the role the... »

Dangerous emotions in slavery

I have recently co-organised with Kostas Vlassopoulos a conference in Nottingham under the auspices of ISOS, the well known international centre for the study of slavery. The topic of the conference was Sex and Slavery and it included papers from all periods and geographical areas; it was meant to be comparative (both diachronically and geographically). The discussion was especially fruitful also because the respondents brought sometimes radically opposing viewpoints. Unlike other conferences of... »

The African slave trade drawings

I was writing an article on slaves, sex and money, when I came across the following drawings. These were drafted in 1788 by abolitionists in the US with the intention to draw attention to the inhumanity of the slave trade. They depict the Brooks ship that regularly transfered slaves from Africa to Liverpool. The trade has finally been abolished in 1808 to the advantage of the American master class. It looks like, after this date, slave prices have risen sharply, thus increasing the wealth of pla... »

Comparative slavery studies

The Institute for the Study of Slavery (ISOS) just published the latest book of the series. Highly recommended to all comparative historians of slavery!   Stephen Hodkinson & Dick Geary (eds.), Slaves and Religions in Graeco-Roman Antiquity and Modern Brazil , Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, July 2012 (ISBN: 978-1-4438-3736-1): »

Sensitive Topics in Ancient History

As you probably already know, I am teaching a third year module on Roman and American Slavery in Leicester. This year, and for the first time, I decided to encourage my students to contribute to a collective blog . Only then, it became obvious that they were intensely preoccupied more with issues of racism than with the generic topic of slavery. I suspect that the reason for such a preference is the fact that they have had no direct experience with sl... »