Course Details

01:506:224 Slavery in World History

  • Academic Credits: 3
  • Mode of Instruction: Lecture
  • Syllabus:  pdf Fall 2021 (89 KB)

    Syllabus Disclaimer:  The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

  • Course Description

    This course is about the history of slavery and freedom – two topics that have a combined past. Everywhere there was slavery, there were people who sought to be free. The course covers a vast geography. We will examine how people experienced slavery and liberty in distinct regions around the world – from Brazil to India, the Philippine Islands to Mexico, and Rome to the United States – to understand human bondage as a global phenomenon. We will study this history over the course of some two thousand years, with a focus on the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. This emphasis on the 1500s-1800s will allow us to chart the expansion of European slave trading from Africa to the Americas and the racialization of slavery in the Atlantic World. We will examine slave trading as a commercial activity to appreciate its economic importance in world history. We will learn about the lives of varied people, including Angolan artisans, English pirates, Mamluk soldiers, and Roman gladiators, among others, to understand the institution of slavery and the practice of freedom from a global perspective.