The Law in Slavery and Freedom


This course focuses on the relationship between slavery, race, and the law. It explores the dimensions and variability of the formal law of slavery, how it addressed the category of slave, codified the powers of slaveholders, and interacted with politics and culture to shape the institution of slavery and the making of the ideology of race. We will study primary documents such as trial transcripts, appellate opinions, treatises, codes, first-person narratives, and secondary work by legal scholars and historians. The course supports the development of skills in critical inquiry, research, and writing leading to the production of a final project based in original research.
Curriculum Codes
  • CCI
  • R
  • W
  • ALP
  • CZ
Cross-Listed As
  • HISTORY 182S
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring