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GH 301: World Slavery

This course is designed to familiarize you with some of the main themes in the history of world slavery, although focusing on the western hemisphere and African slavery in the Americas between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. We also consider emancipation and the transition to freedom in comparative perspective, including the related question of race relations after the end of slavery. In addition, we will be reading about, and discussing, contemporary slavery; nearly 30 million people, according to most estimates, are currently enslaved or living in some form of bonded labor. Never before have more people been slaves, and never have slaves been so cheap to purchase.

Throughout the course we discuss several common themes in the history of unfree people: legal status; demographics and work routines; treatment or "conditions of life;" community and culture; access to freedom; relationship to the culture and society of free people (whether of the same or another racial background); and life after emancipation.

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Olsen

Please contact Dr. Olsen if you have questions about this course.


Greg Bierly, Dean

Pickerl Hall 110
Indiana State University
812.237.3676 fax

Office Hours:
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM