Wealth, Enslavement, and the Archive: Contextualizing Capital in Slavery and Emancipation in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth Century North America

Endorsed by the BHC, LAWCHA, and the Omohundro Institute

Friday, March 31, 2023, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Type: Panel Discussion

Tags: African American; Archives and Bibliography; Gender


This panel rethinks historical capitalism through race, gender, and violence, reevaluating archival sources and their meanings. Documents are just as value-laden as the events and processes they describe, and this panel travels from the seventeenth-century Chesapeake to nineteenth-century Louisiana and South Carolina, reimagining relationships among slavery, gender, and capital.

Session Participants

Chair and Commentator: Caitlin Rosenthal, UC Berkeley
Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management (Harvard, 2018).

Panelist: Matt Grace, University of Virginia

Panelist: Justene Hill Edwards, University of Virginia
Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of Unfree Markets: The Slaves' Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina (Columbia UP, 2021).

Panelist: Maria R. Montalvo, Emory University
Maria R. Montalvo is Assistant Professor of History at Emory University and is working on “The Archive of the Enslaved: Power, Enslavement, and the Production of the Past,” which is a legal history of slavery and capitalism that builds on her analysis of thousands of court records from antebellum New Orleans to explore the legal, rhetorical, and archival strategies enslavers employed to exploit, historicize, and commodify enslaved individuals.

Panelist: Calvin Schermerhorn, Arizona State University
Professor of History at Arizona State University, author most recently of Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery (Cambridge, 2018).