The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines. Until Women and Slavery, no single collection has focused on female slaves who—as these two volumes reveal—probably constituted the considerable majority of those enslaved in Africa, Asia, and Europe over several millennia and who accounted for a greater proportion of the enslaved in the Americas than is customarily acknowledged.
Women enslaved in the Americas came to bear highly gendered reputations among whites—as “scheming Jezebels,” ample and devoted “mammies,” or suffering victims of white male brutality and sexual abuse—that revealed more about the psychology of enslaving than about the courage and creativity of the women enslaved. These strong images of modern New World slavery contrast with the equally expressive virtual invisibility of the women enslaved in the Old—concealed in harems, represented to meddling colonial rulers as “wives” and “nieces,” taken into African families and kin-groups in subtlely nuanced fashion.
Volume 2 Contributors: Henrice Altin,k Laurence Brown, Myriam Cottias, Laura F. Edwards, Richard Follett, Tara Inniss, Barbara Krauthamer, Joseph C. Miller, Bernard Moitt, Kenneth Morgan, Claire Robertson, Marsha Robinson, Felipe Smith, and Mariza de Carvalho Soares.