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Women and Slavery: A Dialogue Between Thavolia Glymph and Ned Sublette

October 26th, 2015
1:00 PM


Join us for a discussion moderated by Forum for Scholars and Publics Director Laurent Dubois between Duke historian Thavolia Glymph and author and musician Ned Sublette about women and slavery in American History.

Thavolia Glymph's celebrated 2008 work Out of the House of Bondage analyzes the plantation household as a site of production where competing visions of gender were wielded as weapons in class struggles between black and white women. She is currently researching the history of African-American women refugees during the Civil War.

Ned and Constance Sublette's new book The American Slave Coast tells the story of how the slavery industry made the reproductive labor of the people it referred to as "breeding women" essential to the young country's expansion. Captive African Americans in the slave nation were not only laborers, but merchandise and collateral all at once. In a land without silver, gold, or trustworthy paper money, their children and their children's children into perpetuity were used as human savings accounts that functioned as the basis of money and credit in a market premised on the continual expansion of slavery.

Listen to Sublette talk about the book here.

A light lunch will be served for all participants starting at 11:45.

Header image: Slave Auction, Christianburg, Virginia, 1850s.

Ned Sublette

Ned Sublette is the co-author with Constance Sublette of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry (Lawrence Hill Books, 2015). He is also the author of The Year Before the Flood (Lawrence Hill Books, 2009); The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square (Lawrence Hill Books 2008); and Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo (Chicago Review Press, 2004). In the 1990s he co-founded the record label Qbadisc, which pioneered the marketing of contemporary Cuban music in the United States in the early 90s, and he has produced over 150 one-hour music documentaries for the Peabody Award-winning public radio program Afropop Worldwide.

Thavolia Glymph

Duke University

Glymph is an Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and History at Duke University. After writing Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge, 2008), she turned her attention back to a project begun years before on the experience of enslaved and freed women on the battlefields of the Civil War. This study focuses on the lives of black women and children in Civil War refugee, and labor camps. She is also completing Women at War (under contract with the University of North Carolina Press) and a study of Civil War veterans who served in the Egyptian Army in the 1870s entitled Playing “Dixie” in Egypt: Civil War Veterans in the Egyptian Army and Transnational Transcripts of Race, Nation, Empire and Citizenship, 1869-1878.