Sex, Power, and Slavery

Edited by Gwyn Campbell and Elizabeth Elbourne

“This collection challenges many established conceptual boundaries, and refines and reinterprets others.”

African Studies Quarterly

Sexual exploitation was and is a critical feature of enslavement. Across many different societies, slaves were considered to own neither their bodies nor their children, even if many struggled to resist. At the same time, paradoxes abound: for example, in some societies to bear the children of a master was a potential route to manumission for some women. Sex, Power, and Slavery is the first history of slavery and bondage to take sexuality seriously.

Twenty-six authors from diverse scholarly backgrounds look at the vexed, traumatic intersections of the histories of slavery and of sexuality. They argue that such intersections mattered profoundly and, indeed, that slavery cannot be understood without adequate attention to sexuality. Sex, Power, and Slavery brings into conversation historians of the slave trade, art historians, and scholars of childhood and contemporary sex trafficking. The book merges work on the Atlantic world and the Indian Ocean world and enables rich comparisons and parallels between these diverse areas.

Contributors: David Brion Davis, Martin Klein, Richard Hellie, Abdul Sheriff, Griet Vankeerberghen, E. Ann McDougall, Matthew S. Hopper, Marie Rodet, George La Rue, Ulrike Schmieder, Tara Iniss, Mariana Candido, James Francis Warren, Johanna Ransmeier, Roseline Uyanga with Marie-Luise Ermisch, Francesca Ann Louise Mitchell, Shigeru Sato, Gabeba Baderoon, Charmaine Nelson, Ana Lucia Araujo, Brian Lewis, Ronaldo Vainfas, Salah Trabelsi, Joost Coté, Sandra Evers, and Subho Basu


Gwyn Campbell, Canada Research Chair in Indian Ocean World History at McGill University, is the author and editor of many works, including Abolition and Its Aftermath in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia and An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar.

Elizabeth Elbourne is Associate Professor of History at McGill University, Montreal. She is the author of Blood Ground: Colonialism, Missions and contests over Christianity in Britain and the Eastern Cape, 1799-1852. She is currently the co-editor (with Brian Cowan) of the Journal of British Studies.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Key themes and perspectives
    Elizabeth Elbourne
  • Part I - Paradigms and Overviews: Points of Departure and Return
    • 1. Slavery, Sex, and Dehumanization
      David Brion Davis
    • 2. Sexuality and Slavery in the Western Sudan
      Martin Klein
    • 3. Sex and Power in the Russian Institutions of Slavery and Serfdom
      Richard Hellie
  • Part II - Concubinage, Law, and the Family
    • 4. Suria: Concubine or Secondary Slave Wife? The Case of Zanzibar in the Nineteenth Century
      Abdul Sheriff
    • 5. A Sexual Order in the Making: Wives and Slaves in Early Imperial China
      Griet Vankeerberghen
    • 6. “To marry one’s slave is as easy as eating a meal“: The Dynamics of Carnal Relations within Saharan Slavery
      E. Ann McDougall
    • 7. Slavery, Family Life, and the African Diaspora in the Arabian Gulf, 1880 – 1940
      Matthew S. Hopper
    • 8. “I ask for divorce because my husband does not let me go back to my country of origin with my brother”: Gender, Family, and the End of Slavery in the Region of Kayes, French Soudan (1890 – 1920)
      Marie Rodet
    • 9. The Fatal Sorbet: An Account of Slavery, Jealousy, Pregnancy, and Murder in a Harem in Alexandria, Egypt, ca. 1850
      George La Rue
  • Part III - Intimate Power: Sexuality and Slavery in the Households of the Atlantic World
    • 10. Sexual Relations between the Enslaved as well as between Slaves and Non-Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Cuba
      Ulrike Schmieder
    • 11. “This Complicated Incest”: Children, Sexuality, and Sexual Abuse during Slavery and the Apprenticeship Period in the British Caribbean, 1790 –1838
      Tara Iniss
    • 11. Strategies for Social Mobility: Liaisons between Foreign Men and Slave Women in Benguela, ca. 1770 – 1850
      Mariana Candido
  • Part IV - Sex Trafficking and Prostitution
    • 12. Japanese Brothel Prostitution, Daily Life, and the Client: Colonial Singapore, 1870 – 1940
      James Francis Warren
    • 13. Body Price: Ambiguities in the Sale of Women at the End of the Qing Dynasty
      Johanna Ransmeier
    • 14. Sex, Slavery, and Human Trafficking in Nigeria: An Overview
      Roseline Uyanga with Marie-Luise Ermisch
    • 15. The Rise of Sex Trafficking in Thailand and Cambodia since the 1960s
      Francesca Ann Louise Mitchell
    • 16. The Japanese Army and Comfort Women in World War II
      Shigeru Sato
  • Part V - Art, Sexuality, and Slavery
    • 17. Hidden Geographies of the Cape: Shifting Representations of Slavery and Sexuality in South African Art and Fiction
      Gabeba Baderoon
    • 18. Innocence Curtailed: Reading Maternity and Sexuality as Labor in Canadian Representations of Black Girls
      Charmaine Nelson
    • 19. Gender, Sex, and Power: Images of the Enslaved Women’s Bodies
      Ana Lucia Araujo
  • Part VI - Queering the Study of Slavery
    • 20. “To Lever’s on Soap!” Roger Casement, Slavery, and Sexual Imperialism
      Brian Lewis
    • 21. Sodomy, Love, and Slavery in Colonial Brazil: A Case Study of Minas Gerais during the Eighteenth Century
      Ronaldo Vainfas
    • 22. Eunuchs, Power, and Slavery in the Early Islamic World Legacies: Discourse, Dishonor, and Labor
      Salah Trabelsi
    • 23. Slaves, Coolies, and Garrison Whores: A Colonial Discourse of “Unfreedom” in the Dutch East Indies
      Joost Coté
    • 24. Lure of the Impure: Sexuality, Gender, and Agency of “Slave” Girls in Contemporary Madagascar
      Sandra Evers
    • 25. Wages of Womanhood: Managers and Women Workers in the Jute Mill Industry of Bengal, 1890 – 1940
      Subho Basu

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Slavery and Slave Trade · International History · Prostitution and Sex Trade

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978-0-8214-2097-3
Retail price: $39.95, S.
Release date: Dec. 2014
704 pages · 6 × 9 in.
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978-0-8214-2096-6
Retail price: $85.00, S.
Release date: Dec. 2014
704 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World

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978-0-8214-4490-0
Release date: Dec. 2014
≅ 704 pages
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