The American Historical Review and Past & Present have joined forces to publish a joint, virtual special issue reviewing historiographic debates related to slavery and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World.
Sexual exploitation was and is a critical feature of enslavement. Across many different societies, slaves were considered to own neither their bodies nor their children, even if many struggled to resist. At the same time, paradoxes abound: for example, in some societies to bear the children of a master was a potential route to manumission for some women. Sex, Power, and Slavery is the first history of slavery and bondage to take sexuality seriously.
Twenty-six authors from diverse scholarly backgrounds look at the vexed, traumatic intersections of the histories of slavery and of sexuality. They argue that such intersections mattered profoundly and, indeed, that slavery cannot be understood without adequate attention to sexuality. Sex, Power, and Slavery brings into conversation historians of the slave trade, art historians, and scholars of childhood and contemporary sex trafficking. The book merges work on the Atlantic world and the Indian Ocean world and enables rich comparisons and parallels between these diverse areas.
“Few images of early America were more striking, and jarring, than that of slaves in the capital city of the world’s most important free republic. Black slaves served and sustained the legislators, bureaucrats, jurists, cabinet officials, military leaders, and even the presidents who lived and worked there. While slaves quietly kept the nation’s capital running smoothly, lawmakers debated the place of slavery in the nation, the status of slavery in the territories newly acquired from Mexico, and even the legality of the slave trade in itself.
This volume, with essays by some of the most distinguished historians in the nation, explores the twin issues of how slavery made life possible in the District of Columbia and how lawmakers in the district regulated slavery in the nation.”
David Brion Davis – The Impact of British Abolitionism on American Sectionalism
James B. Stewart – Christian Statesmanship, Codes of Honor, and Congressional violence: The Antislavery Travails and Triumphs of Joshua Giddings
Stanley Harrold – Gamaliel Bailey, Antislavery Journalist and Lobbyist
Jonathan Earle – Saturday Nights at the Baileys’: Building an Antislavery Movement in Congress, 1838–1854
Susan Zaeske – “A nest of rattlesnakes let loose among them”: Congressional Debates over Women’s Antislavery Petitions, 1835–1845
David Zarefsky – Debating Slavery by Proxy: The Texas Annexation Controversy
Glenn Crothers – The 1846 Retrocession of Alexandria: Protecting Slavery and the Slave Trade in the District of Columbia
Mary Beth Corrigan – “Whether they be ours or no, they may be heirs of the kingdom”:
The Pursuit of Family Ties among enslaved People in the District
Mary K. Ricks – The 1848 Pearl escape from Washington, D.C.: A Convergence
of Opportunity, Motivation, and Political Action in the
Mitch Kachun – Celebrating emancipation and Contesting Freedom in
Volume 45, Issue 1 (2008) includes:
Hebe Mattos. ““Black Troops” and Hierarchies of Color in the Portuguese Atlantic World: The Case of Henrique Dias and His Black Regiment.” Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 6-29.
Walter Hawthorne. ““Being now, as it were, one family”: Shipmate bonding on the slave vessel Emilia, in Rio de Janeiro and throughout the Atlantic World.” Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 53-77.
Paulina Alberto. “Para africano ver: African-Bahian Exchanges in the Reinvention of Brazil’s Racial Democracy, 1961–63.” Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 78-117.
Ben Penglase. “The Bastard Child of the Dictatorship: The Comando Vermelho and the Birth of “Narco-culture” in Rio de Janeiro.” Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 118-145.
Thaïs Machado-Borges. “O antes e o depois: Feminilidade, classe e raça na revista Plástica e Beleza.” Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 146-163.
Isabel Ferreira Gould. “Decanting the Past: Africa, Colonialism, and the New Portuguese Novel.” Luso-Brazilian Review 45, no. 1 (2008): 182-197.
From the introduction by Peter M. Beattie.
The lead section of this LBR volume brings together four articles on the Lusophone South Atlantic by historians of Africa and Brazil originally presented to the Michigan State University and University of Michigan’s Atlantic History workshop “ReCapricorning the Atlantic: Luso-Brazilian and Luso-African Perspectives on the Atlantic World.”1 The workshop and this special volume’s title is a twist on Andre Gunder Frank’s ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998) in which the renowned economic historian argued that Asia had been the hub of the global economy through the early modern period and that a Johnny-come-lately Europe “used its American money to buy itself a ticket on the Asian train” after 1800 to “temporarily” become the new hub of global trade (p. xxv). Frank’s interest in Asia’s role in the global economy was a significant departure from his earlier work which had focused on exploring Portuguese and Spanish America’s underdevelopment within the frameworks of dependency and world systems theory. “ReCapricorning the Atlantic” returns to the site of Frank’s earlier work to consider a similar reorientation based on perspectives centered around the Tropic of Capricorn within a body of scholarship that has come to be known as “Atlantic History.” The South Atlantic was the economic hub and arguably the most significant formative matrix of the early modern European colonial enterprise in Africa and the Americas. Yet to date, most Atlantic history has focused on the British and to a somewhat lesser extent, French Empires and their remnants in the Americas and Africa. This “North Atlantic-centrism” is reflected in many classic titles in Atlantic History that conceal their much more limited geographic emphases in terms of primary research (e.g., David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas; Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, or David Brion Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture). With these legacies in mind, workshop participants set out to “ReCapricorn the Atlantic” by assessing how new research on the Lusophone South Atlantic modifies, challenges, or confirms major trends and paradigms in the expanding scholarship on Atlantic History. Their approaches broaden the discussion of Atlantic History’s meanings and utility as a category of analysis and body of scholarship across imperial, geographic, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries. The four articles published here are indicative of the potential of South Atlantic research to shape broader debates in Atlantic History and other significant areas of historical inquiry.
Available at Project Muse and at your local library. (Interesting sidenote: Project Muse now has a Share on Facebook widget)