Anthropology 84300

Anthropology of Slavery
Wednesday:  2:00 - 4:00 PM
Graduate Center  6300

Dr. James Moore

Fall 2004
Email: JAMoore@QC.EDU

The nineteenth-century North American experience has become the archetype for much contemporary thought regarding the nature of slavery.   Yet this extreme form of this capitalist version of chattel slavery has skewed both the concepts and discourse.  To a large extent the existence and significance of slavery in other societies has been downplayed or denied.

One goal of this course is to open the discussion to a wider variety of societies.  How pervasion was the practice of slavery?  What diversity existed in the forms of slave holding?  What range of ideological constructions identified and justified the status of slave?                

 The course will use the expansion of European economic and political dominance in the 15th century to focus the scope of inquiry.  The articulation with European economic systems transformed indigenous societies in every corner of the world.  Existing systems of labor were subverted, intensified or discarded.   The course will examine a number of pre-colonial and colonial cases in with the goal of situating indigenous systems of slavery in their cultural context.  We will use Wolf’s Europe and People Without History as our initial jumping off point for further reading and discussion.

 The course will operate in a seminar format.  The weekly readings will focus discussion on themes and concepts that have beem central to the study of slavery.  Each student will be asked to select a time and place to situate their reading and research.  This area will become the topic of their reserch for the semester.  Three short presentations will be required over the course of the semester:  a) a statement of interest ( to be developed into a problem),  b)  an interium progress report identifying the problem and the shape of the research agenda, and c)  a final research presenation at te end of the semester.

The research paper will be due at the end of the semester.   The plan is to then develop the papers into a session for the AAA meetings for those who wish to further develop their ideas.

Brooks,  James (2002)  Captives and Cousins:  Slavery, Kinship and Community in the Southwest Borderlands.  U of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.
Williams, Eric (1944) Capitalism and Slavery.  U of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.
Wolf, Eric (1982)  Europe and the People Without History.  U of California Press, Berkeley.

Other readings will be made available on line.  Both article references and, when possible, hot links will be provided.


Lecture  Date Topic   Reading  
1  W 1  Sept Introduction and Agenda Patterson

2  W 8 Sept Constructing a Theoretical Frame
Wolf, Chapts 1-4

3  W 15 Sept

No Class
4  W 22 Sept  Slavery in Three Arenas

Wolf, Chapts 5 -8
Declare Study Area
5  W 29 Sept Ancient Slavery
Irish Iron Age
Timothy Taylor, World Archaeology Vol. 33(1): 27-43
6  W  6 Oct  Four Cases:
NW Coast

Kenneth M. Ames,
World Archaeology Vol. 33(1): 1–17
H.D. Baker,
World Archaeology Vol. 33(1): 18–26
J. Alexander, World Archaeology Vol. 33(1): 44-60
Orser and Funari, World Archaeology Vol. 33: 61-72,

7  W 13 Oct  Four Cases:
South Africa

Cox, World Archaeology Vol. 33(1): 73-97.
Singleton, World Archaeology, Vol. 33(1): 98- 114.
Andrews and Fenton, World Archaeology 33: 115-136
Connah, World Archaeology 33: 137-154

8  W 20 Oct American Southwest James Brooks Two Page Review
9  W 27 Oct Brazil

10  W  3 Nov Caribbean
Eric Willaims

11  W 10 Nov Georgia, Carolina
12  W 17 Nov Slavery in the North
13  W 24 Nov No Class
  Academic Friday
14  W 1 Dec Final Reports
15  W  8 Dec Final Reports