The explosion of boundaries that took place in the early modern period—cultural and intellectual, no less than social and political—is the subject of this exciting series that explores the meeting of peoples, products, ideas, and traditions in the early modern Americas, Africa, and Europe. The Atlantic World provides a forum for scholarly work—original monographs, article collections, editions of primary sources translations—on these exciting global mixtures and their impact on culture, politics and society in the period bridging the original Columbian "encounter" and the abolition of slavery. It moves away from traditional historiographical emphases that isolate continents and nation-states and toward a broader terrain that includes non-European perspectives. It also encourages a wider disciplinary approach to early modern studies. Themes will include the commerce of ideas and products; the exchange of religions and traditions; the institution of slavery; the transfer of technologies; the development of new forms of political, social and economic policy. It welcomes studies that employ diverse forms of analysis and from all scholarly disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, art history, history (including the history of science), linguistics, literature, music, philosophy, and religious studies.
Manuscripts (preferably in English) should be 90,000 to 180,000 words in length and may include illustrations. The editors would be interested to receive proposals for specialist monographs and syntheses but may also consider multi-authored contributions such as conference proceedings and edited volumes, as well as thematic works and source translations.
As a practice in which human beings were held captive for an indefinite period of time, coerced into extremely dependent and exploitative power relationships, denied rights (including rights over their labor, lives, and bodies), often vulnerable to forced relocation by various means, and forced to labor against their will, slavery in one form or another predates written records and has existed in innumerable societies. This exciting series provides a venue for scholarly work—research monographs and edited volumes—that advances our understanding of the history of slavery and post-slavery in any period and any geographical region. It fills an important gap in academic publishing and builds upon two relatively recent developments in historical scholarship. First, it provides a world-class outlet for the increased scholarly interest shown in slavery studies in recent years, not only for those working on modern Atlantic societies but also other regions and time periods throughout world history. Second, this series intersects slavery studies with a growing interest in global history among researchers, including global migrations and interactions, warfare, trade routes, and economic expansion. Studies in Global Slavery welcomes submissions that deal with themes such as the development of slave societies and societies with slaves; human trafficking and forced migration; slavery and globalization; slave culture and cultural transfer; political, economic, and ideological causes and effects of slavery; resistance; abolition and emancipation; and memories/legacies of slavery.
Monographs by specialists in the field are especially sought, but multi-authored edited volumes containing academic articles by slavery scholars will also be considered. Manuscripts should be written in English and be at least 80,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). Manuscripts may also include illustrations, tables, maps, and other visual material.
Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Jason Prevost. Please direct all other correspondence to Associate Editor Debbie de Wit.
*A paperback edition of select titles in the series, for individual purchase only, will be released approximately 12 months after publication of the hardcover edition.
In response to critiques of the ‘slavery versus freedom’ binary and its limitations, researchers at the international Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS—www.dependency.uni-bonn.de) at the University of Bonn tentatively employ the analytical concept of ‘asymmetrical dependency’ in their investigations of coercive social relations, such as slavery, debt bondage, and servitude. In this paper, we discuss some basic theoretical assumptions that undergird this analytical concept. In outlining an approach to asymmetrical dependency that is grounded in social and cultural theory, our goal is to provide a framework within which individual researchers can situate their projects and further develop their theoretical understanding of this phenomenon. To this end, we first introduce the analytical concept of asymmetrical dependency and explore its potential in light of the current state of research of slavery studies and related fields. We then conceptualize asymmetrical dependency as a dynamic relational process and employ a chiefly praxeological methodology to identify and describe some fundamental dynamics of these relations. Finally, we argue that the interdisciplinary study of asymmetrical dependency requires a broad practice of comparative analyses. We, therefore, consider several recent critiques of and models for comparison while relating them to the analytical concept of asymmetrical dependency we propose.
In the years 1823, 1829–1830, and 1837, West and West Central Africa had to contend with three devastating yellow fever epidemics that affected both slave dealers who had settled along the coast and anti-slave trade officials tasked with bringing the slave trade to an end. In this paper I argue that these epidemics had a profound impact on the actions of both sets of actors, and eventually on the expansion and demise of the slave trade in the region. By focusing on the actions of a myriad of Atlantic actors, I explore the ways in which cyclical epidemics of yellow fever were dealt with, emphasizing how prophylactic measures, treatments, and more generally, medical knowledge, were challenged, affected, and changed by the arrival of each of them.
This article revisits the scholarly debate on the profitability of historical slavery. The article examines the case of the antebellum US South, using slave hire rates as a proxy for the net rent on investments in slavery. It employs empirical data and a more advanced methodological approach to the issue than in previous research. The results suggest that the profitability of slavery was much higher than what most previous research has shown, around 14–15 per cent per year on average after adjusting for mortality risk, but that the return also fluctuated over time. It was on average more profitable for Southern capital owners to invest in slaves than investing in many alternatives such as financial instruments or manufacturing activities in the US South, as long as slavery remained a legal institution.