HISTORY 195 - The Writing of History
Section: 002 Unfree Labor: Slaves, Convicts, and Indentured Servants
Term: WN 2018
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Other Course Info:
This course may not be included in a History major. F.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

What is free labor? What does it mean to be denied that freedom? How have global systems of unfree labor shaped our past and present? In this course, we will explore these questions, examining how people have worked and continue to work under unfree conditions. Our case studies of slavery, indentured servitude, convict labor, and modern practices like sex trafficking will take us to Africa and the Americas, India and Australia, allowing an exploration into the meanings of the terms “unfree” and “labor” in various historical and contemporary contexts. We will learn about how historians as well as historical figures have written and spoken about unfree labor and, in doing so, we will also develop the tools necessary to read critically and produce analytic, evidence-based writing. Our written analyses will draw on a wide range of sources, including letters and archival sources, museum exhibitions, biographies, newspaper articles, and film, as well as interpretive histories. Through these materials, we will build an understanding of how individuals have experienced, rationalized, and struggled under and against unfree work conditions. We will discover what these various forms of labor were and how they relate to each other. We will consider the ways in which social categories and identities like gender, sexuality, race, and class have informed global histories of unfree labor and how these histories help us to better understand unfree labor in today’s world.

Course Requirements:

As this is a writing course, there will be no exams. However, we will produce 20 pages of revised writing in addition to regular low-stakes writing exercises.

Class Format:

This is a freshman seminar and we will meet for 80-minute seminars twice a week.

HISTORY 195 - The Writing of History
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
WF 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (REC)
WF 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (REC)
WF 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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