13/13 Seminar Series


Thursday, November 12, 2020  6:15pm Virtual Event from 6:15pm - 8:45pm EST


Free and open to the public

Registration required


Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought

The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

This seminar will focus on the long history of the abolition of slavery. The passage from a de jure to de facto system of racial oppression in this country raises many important questions. Some involve the continuities and the differences: What can we learn from thinking of these different periods as similar or different? Some involve the lessons to be learned for abolitionist movements in other domains: In what ways do the struggles enrich each other? Some involve the hidden and not-so-hidden pitfalls of abolitionism: What are the shoals to be avoided in future abolitionist campaigns? These will be some of the themes we explore in this seminar on the abolition of slavery.

Professors Dennis ChildsMaeve GlassJennifer Morgan, and Bernard E. Harcourt read and discuss Chapters 2 and 3 of Slaves of the State: Black Incarceration from the Chain Gang to the Penitentiary by Dennis Childs, “Venus in Two Acts” by Saidiya Hartman, “Partus sequiter ventrem: Law, Race, and Reproduction in Colonial Slavery” by Jennifer Morgan, Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery by Joseph P. Reidy, and Selections from Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution by Eric Foner.

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