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Out of the House of Bondage
The Transformation of the Plantation Household

$30.99 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521703987

$ 30.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • This book views the plantation household as a site of production where competing visions of gender were wielded as weapons in class struggles between black and white women. Mistresses were powerful beings in the hierarchy of slavery rather than powerless victims of the same patriarchal system responsible for the oppression of the enslaved. Glymph challenges popular depictions of plantation mistresses as "friends" and "allies" of slaves and sheds light on the political importance of ostensible private struggles, and on the political agendas at work in framing the domestic as private and household relations as personal.

    • Focuses on the plantation household as a site of production and thus class relations and violence
    • Unique analysis of the precise forms of struggle and negotiations that led to the transformation of the plantation home in the Civil War era
    • Places black and white women at the center of an analysis of the plantation household
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “The intellectually sophisticated and analytically acute Thavolia Glymph compels serious reconsideration of the transition in the relations of southern black and white women. Sensitive to the painful circumstances of both, she illuminates the political dimension of their daily interaction.” -Eugene D. Genovese, author of Roll, Jordan, Roll and Mind of the Mater Class, with Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Cambridge University Press, 2005

    “Combining the tools of an economic and social historian with a flair for robust cross-examination of historical sources, Thavolia Glymph has fashioned a study of women in the plantation household into a sweeping reinterpretation of the post-slavery South.” -Barbara J. Fields, Columbia University

    "Professor Glymph makes a powerful argument about relationships between black and white women in the slaveholding South. She explores the systematic, often brutal, use of violence by women of the planter elite against enslaved women and demolishes the idea that some form of gender solidarity trumped race and class in plantation households. This important book should find an appreciative audience among readers interested in African American, southern, women's, and Civil War-era history." -Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor of History, University of Virginia

    "...this book is a significant contribution to the history of women, African Americans, and the larger social and economic transformation of the mid-19th century. Highly recommended." -Choice

    "...Glymph has provided a new canvas for classic questions of enslavement, emancipation, and domestic spaces." -Jessica Millward, Journal of American History

    "...a provocative and very well-written analysis of gender in the South before and after the Civil War. Glymph's prose is incisively written and framed within a rich historiographical context." -Jim Downs, Civil War Book Review

    "Out of the House of Bondage presents a theoretically sophisticated, tightly argued challenge to the existing scholarship on black and white women in the nineteenth century South." -Frank Towers, Labour/Le Travail

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521703987
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 157 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The gender of violence
    2. 'Beyond the limits of decency': women in slavery
    3. Making 'better girls': Southern women and the claims of domesticity
    4. 'Nothing but deception in them': the war within
    5. Out of the house of bondage: a sundering of ties, 1865–6
    6. 'A makeshift kind of life': free women and free homes
    7. 'Wild notions of right and wrong': from home to the streets.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • African American History
    • African American History to 1865
    • African American Women's History to 1865
    • Age of Emancipation
    • American Women's History
    • Enslaved Women and the Construction of American Notions of Gender, Sexuality, and Race
    • Graduate Readings in Women's History of the US
    • History of the American Family
    • History of the South
    • History of the United States to 1865
    • Introduction to African American Literature
    • Labors
    • Literature: Antebellum South
    • Marriage and Family in American History
    • Old South
    • Problems in 19th-Century American History
    • Proseminar in US History
    • Topics in Global, Comparative, and Thematic Histor: Gender History
    • U.S. History to 1877 and/or Hist 4304 (Old South)
    • US History to 1877
    • United States History Honors Seminar
    • Violence in 19th-Century America
    • Visualizing the Antebellum South
    • Women and Gender in U.S. History
  • Author

    Thavolia Glymph, Duke University, North Carolina
    Thavolia Glymph (Ph.D. Economic History, Purdue University) is an Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and History at Duke University. She has co-edited two volumes of the award-winning Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation series and published scholarly articles in five book collections. Glymph's far-ranging experience as a scholar and educator extends to various teaching appointments and museum projects. Her current work focuses on a comparative study of plantation households in Brazil and the US South, Civil War soldiers in Egypt after the Civil War, and a history of women in the Civil War.

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