This course introduces students to the history of the United States slavery with a particular focus upon the lives and experiences of enslaved people themselves. What were the worldviews of enslaved people and what sources have scholars drawn upon to write this history? What are the archives of U.S. slavery and what limits do scholars encounter when working with these archives? Through a range of sources including the narratives and testimonies of enslaved people, abolitionist papers, scientific records, the holdings of universities connected to slavery, the papers of southern slaveholders, and interviews with formerly enslaved people, students will be introduced to the vast body of resources that together comprise the archives of U.S. slavery.
This course also provides greater appreciation of classic and recent scholarship on nineteenth century African American history, the history of slavery in the United States, the making of race and the operation of gender in U.S. history. The course will examine these themes through scholarship in slavery studies across cultural, social, political, legal, economic, and institutional history.
Finally, as a university seminar, this course introduces you to the craft of historical writing.
Developing a Research Strategy for Success
Selecting a Topic
What are some of the keywords or subject terms used in the readings and class discussions?
Gathering background information allows you to: