Walsh School of Foreign Service

HIST 613 Sex and African Enslavement

Kathryn M de Luna (new window)

Tuesday 5:00pm to 7:3opm

This course explores the dynamics of gender, sex, and enslavement in African communities on the continent and in the many African Diasporas produced through the enslavement and transport of African men and women. We seek to understand the gendered meanings of sex, rape, childbirth, and miscarriage to the diverse African communities built in the context of slavery. Historians have tended to believe that they could imagine how Africans understood sex in the context of slavery by studying the logics of their action in our own terms: as a strategy for manumission, as a violence endured, or (more recently) as an act of refusal and love undertaken in spite of slavery. Yet, African men and women brought other logics–of fertility quests, lineage politics, and situational gender and kinship–to bear on their interpretations of acts we might frame as ‘intimate.’ We’ll explore these issues as we simultaneously debate the ethics and violence involved in researching and teaching acts of violence and intimacy within the limits of the colonial archive (and other archives).