Fall 2021

Slavery in U.S. History & Culture

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-220  |  History, as HIST-220

Moodle site: Course


Elizabeth Herbin-Triant (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 220 [US] and HIST 220[US/TR/TS]) The impact of slavery is still with us in the United States, and it is essential that we examine this institution and look critically at the ways Americans have chosen to remember it over the years. The first part of this interdisciplinary course examines how slavery has been understood by historians, examining historical questions such as what the relationship was between slavery and racism, how gender influenced the experiences of enslaved people, and how the enslaved resisted slavery. The second part of the course examines how slavery has been depicted in American culture, using the novels Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Beloved; the films Way Down South, Django Unchained, and 12 Years a Slave; and the work of artist Kara Walker, among other sources. We will pay attention to controversies over how slavery is remembered, including the recent backlash against the 1619 Project. As we explore slavery and the memory of slavery, we will also discuss to what extent the ways we view the past are shaped by the times in which we live.

Fall semester. Limited to 20 students. Associate Professor Herbin-Triant.

If Overenrolled: Preference given first to BLST and HIST majors, then by seniority.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2021