The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas offers penetrating, original, and authoritative essays on the history and historiography of the institution of slavery in the New World. With essays on colonial and antebellum America, Brazil, the Caribbean, the Indies, and South America, the Handbook has impressive geographic and temporal coverage. It also includes a generous range of thematic essays on comparative slavery, the economics of slavery, historical methodology in the field, slavery and the law, for instance.
While obviously indebted to the foundational works of the 1960s and 1970s, current writing on the history of slavery and forms of unfree labor in the Americas has taken decidedly original, new, often ingenious turns. A younger generation of scholars has shown a healthy respect for that tradition while posing new, often interdisciplinary, and theoretically informed questions, considering, for example, the nature and definition of slave resistance in the Americas, evolving meanings of gender and race under slavery, the complicated nature of class formation in unfree societies, the elaboration of proslavery and antislavery ideologies, the origins and subsequent elaboration of race-based slavery, and mechanisms of emancipation.
Written by an international team including some of the field’s most eminent historians and the most innovative younger scholars working today, The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas seeks to explain the enduring importance of the earlier historiography, identify current trends and developments, and offer suggestive but informed commentary on future developments in the field for a global scholarly audience.