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Slavery and the Law in Atlantic Perspective: Jurisdiction, Jurisprudence, and Justice


The four articles in this special issue experiment with an innovative set of questions and a variety of methods in order to push the analysis of slavery and the law into new territory. Their scope is broadly Atlantic, encompassing Suriname and Saint-Domingue/Haiti, New York and New Orleans, port cities and coffee plantations. Each essay deals with named individuals in complex circumstances, conveying their predicaments as fine-grained microhistories rather than as shocking anecdotes. Each author, moreover, demonstrates that the moments when law engaged slavery not only reflected but also influenced larger dynamics of sovereignty and jurisprudence.

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Bianca Premo , “An Equity against the Law: Slave Rights and Creole Jurisprudence in Spanish America,” forthcoming in Slavery and Abolition

Scott J. Shapiro , Legality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011)

Ada Ferrer for this formulation. See her essay, “Haiti, Free Soil, and Antislavery in the Revolutionary Atlantic,” forthcoming in the American Historical Review

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Law and History Review
  • ISSN: 0738-2480
  • EISSN: 1939-9022
  • URL: /core/journals/law-and-history-review
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