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The Politics of Slavery$
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Laura Brace

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474401142

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401142.001.0001

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Glimpses of Slavery

Glimpses of Slavery

(p.219) Chapter 10 Glimpses of Slavery
The Politics of Slavery

Laura Brace

Edinburgh University Press

Bringing the slaves back into our conversations about freedom and modernity, and giving slavery a history and a politics of its own, alters our conceptual frames much more radically than the discourse of new slavery allows. Racial and gendered domination and violence, and the production of vulnerability, are structured and constituted through the complicated pasts, presents and futures of slavery. The freedom and status of personhood and its roots in property, possession and exchange can only be understood through the lens of slavery and the uneven distribution of the category of the human. In order to understand how it is that our ideas of universal human freedom can separate some people whose liberties matter from others who are not to included in the category of full personhood, we need to step into the space between personhood, subpersonhood and humanity and confront the ways in which the zone of freedom is rooted in property rights, and in the codification of persons as property.

Keywords:   Modernity, Personhood, Humanity, Property rights

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