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The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines. Until Women and Slavery, no single collection has focused on female slaves who—as these two volumes reveal—probably constituted the considerable majority of those enslaved in Africa, Asia, and Europe over several millennia and who accounted for a greater proportion of the enslaved in the Americas than is customarily acknowledged.
Women enslaved in the Americas came to bear highly gendered reputations among whites—as “scheming Jezebels,” ample and devoted “mammies,” or suffering victims of white male brutality and sexual abuse—that revealed more about the psychology of enslaving than about the courage and creativity of the women enslaved. These strong images of modern New World slavery contrast with the equally expressive virtual invisibility of the women enslaved in the Old—concealed in harems, represented to meddling colonial rulers as “wives” and “nieces,” taken into African families and kin-groups in subtlely nuanced fashion.
Volume 2 Contributors: Henrice Altin,k Laurence Brown, Myriam Cottias, Laura F. Edwards, Richard Follett, Tara Inniss, Barbara Krauthamer, Joseph C. Miller, Bernard Moitt, Kenneth Morgan, Claire Robertson, Marsha Robinson, Felipe Smith, and Mariza de Carvalho Soares.
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Gwyn Campbell, Canada Research Chair in Indian Ocean World History at McGill University, is the author and editor of many works, includingAbolition and Its Aftermath in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia and An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar.Suzanne Miers is professor emerita of history at Ohio University. She is the author of Slavery in the Twentieth Century and coeditor of The End of Slavery and other books.Joseph C. Miller is the T. Cary Johnson, Jr. Professor of history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Kings and Kinsmen, Way of Death, and works on the world history of slavery.Review:
“I believe these essays have an audience among anyone interested not only in the intersecting histories of slavery and women, but also those who are intrigued more generally by the historian's craft.”
― Susan E. O’Donovan, coeditor of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867 and author of Slavery's Legacies: Becoming Free in the Cotton South
“Nicely, (Women and Slavery, Vol. 2) reads as a conversation―among people who disagree―about the 'second sex' and slavery.... The collection should be commended for its panoply of concerns and authors and its breadth and depth of historical research. ”
― University of Toronto Quarterly
“(T)he anthology raises a number of important questions and provides scholarship of the highest quality on a subject that has too often been omitted from early studies of slavery.”
― The Historian
“The geographic and methodological diversity of the chapters constitute one of the collection’s salient appeals.... The two volumes challenge us to reconsider women and slavery and appreciate the strongly gendered nature of servitude in world history.”
― African Studies Review
(Women and Slavery: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic) and its sister publication, Women and Slavery: The Modern Atlantic, by the same editors, work masterfully together and could serve as the basis for an entire course on women and slavery.”
― International Journal of African Historical Studies
“(Women and Slavery, Vols. 1 & 2) are accomplished, extensive and innovative collections that make a major contribution not only to slavery studies, but also to the histories of the various regions represented, to ‘women’s history,’ and to gender, race and area studies more generally.”
― Africa: The Journal of the IAI
“Women and Slavery (Volumes 1 & 2) makes a significant contribution to our understanding of slavery in a global context” and “showing the centrality of women to slave systems around the world.”
― Journal of Global History
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