HIST 4155 Slavery and Gender in the Atlantic World (also AMST 4155, ASRC 4155, FGSS 4155) (HPE, HGS)
Professor Tamika Nunley
In 1662, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a law that made African slavery inheritable through matrilineal descent. Partus sequiter ventrem codified the economic and legal value associated with the reproductive labor of enslaved women and shaped the social and power dynamics of slavery in distinctive ways. The gendered contexts of enslaved women’s lives began to take shape throughout the Atlantic world and well into the mid-nineteenth century in the antebellum South. The lives of enslaved women, however, can be understood in a variety of contexts that we have yet to fully understand. In this graduate seminar, we will read and think deeply about the historiography of slavery and gender. This body of work boasts a unique genealogy and invites questions about the methodologies of our guild as we seek to understand these transformations with a limited archive. This seminar will examine the experiences of enslaved women but will also consider how gender configures in the lives of enslaved men, and white women and men.