Finance, Race, and Gender in the Early Modern Atlantic World

Owen Williams's picture
September 4, 2018
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Atlantic History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Finance, Race, and Gender in the Early Modern Atlantic World

A yearlong colloquium directed by Jennifer L. Morgan at the Folger Institute, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC


In recent years, a host of new scholarship exploring the relationship between slavery and capitalism has emerged. How might this new canon be reconfigured by a thorough consideration of race and gender in tandem with histories of fungibility and value? Late medieval and early modern modes of accounting cohered around notions of enslavability, and the hereditary mark of race became embedded in how gender produced categories of freedom and slavery—all of which are crucial to the study of economy and race in the Atlantic world. Interrogating early modern notions of finance by asking how they intersected with, shaped, and were shaped by categories of race and gender will garner new understandings of these interrelated processes. This year-long colloquium will explore those intersections between histories of race, gender, and finance that culminate in early modern Atlantic slavery. Participants will treat the Atlantic world as the dynamic space that it was, attempting to balance engagement across continents and empires. Scholars working on histories of gender, race, and enslavement in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas will be crucial to this seminar. Scholars who have approached their work in one of these areas, but who are committed to thinking more broadly across geographical and thematic concerns, are particularly encouraged to apply.


DirectorJennifer L. Morgan is Professor of History in the Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University. The author of Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery (2004), she is the editor, with Jennifer Brier and Jim Downs, of Connexions: Histories of Race and Sex in North America (2016) and is currently completing a study of gender and the slave trade tentatively entitled “Accounting for Slavery: Gender, Kinship, and Capitalism in the Early Modern Black Atlantic.”


Schedule: Friday afternoons, 1:00—4:30 p.m., 5 October, 19 October, 9 November, 7 December (all day) 2018; 25 January, 15 March, and 12 April 2019. 


Apply: 4 September 2018 for admissions (and grants-in-aid for Folger Institute consortium affiliates). The application portal may be found here:


Contact Info: 

Owen Williams, Ph.D.

The Folger Institute | Folger Shakespeare Library

Assistant Director for Scholarly Programs

201 East Capitol Street, SE | Washington, DC 20003

+1 202 675 0352

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