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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: ANTH 412
Course Title: *Slavery and Human Trafficking: Past and Present
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

This course explores how slavery and the traffic of human beings have been justified, organized and practiced in different cultures and at different times. Focusing on three particular world regions (Africa, Asia and the Americas), and covering both historical and contemporary forms of slavery, the course uses anthropological perspectives to examine definitions and representations of slavery, as well as the economic, political and social forces that shape human exploitation cross-culturally. Cross-listed as SOCI 412. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Junior standing.

Course Rotation for Day Program:


Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most current editions of the following:

The Political Economy of New Slavery
By Anker, Christien van den (Palgrave McMillan)
Slavery and Other Forms of Unfree Labor
By Archer, Leonie (Routledge)
Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy
By Bales, Kevin (University of California Press)
Understanding Global Slavery: A Reader
By Bales, Kevin (University of California Press)
Trafficking and the Global Sex Industry
By Beeks, Karen & Delila Amir (Lexington Books)
Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World
By Davis, David Brion (Oxford University Press)
Challenging the Boundaries of Slavery
By Davis, David Brion (Harvard University Press)
My Bondage and My Freedom
By Douglass, Fredrick (Random House)
A Historical Guide to World Slavery
By Drescher, Seymour and Stanley L. Engerman (Oxford University Press)
Slaves and Other Objects
By DuBois, Page (University of Chicago Press)
By Engerman, Stanley et al. (Oxford University Press)
Lost People: Magic and the Legacy of Slavery in Madagascar
By Graeber, David (Indiana University Press)
Slavery and the Making of America
By Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Horton (Oxford University Press)
Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance and Redfinition
By Kempadoo, Kamala and Jo Doezema (Routledge)
Breaking the Chains: Slavery, Bondage, and Emancipation in Modern Africa and Asia
By Klein, Martin A. (University of Wisconsin Press)
Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa
By Lovejoy, Paul (Cambridge University Press)
Gender, Trafficking, and Slavery
By Masika, Rachel (Oxfam)
The Anthropology of Slavery: the Womb of Iron and Gold
By Meillassoux, Claude (University of Chicago)
Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives
By Miers, Suzanne and Igor Kopytoff (University of Wisconsin)
Children in the Global Sex Trade
By O'Connell, Davidson Julia (Polity Press)
Foul Means: the Formation of the Slave Society in Virginia, 1660-1740
By Parent, Anthony (University of North Carolina)
Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study
By Patterson, Orlando (Harvard University)
Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery
By Sage, Jesse and Liora Kasten (Palgrave McMillan)
The Political Economy of New Slavery
By van den Anker, Christien (Palgrave McMillan)
Course Objectives
  • To understand anthropological perspective on the study of slavery and human trafficking cross-cuturally.
  • To recognize the social complexity of human slavery and understand it within particular social and cultural contexts.
  • To engage in readings and discussions about contemporary forms of slavery and human trafficking.
  • To examine ethical issues associated with the anthropological study of slavery.
Measurable Learning
  • Explain the contribution of anthropology to the understanding of slavery and human trafficking.
  • Explain the general history of slavery in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • Explain the growing concern for human rights and its impact on abolition policies.
  • Explain the contrasting impact of abolition policies on slavery practices in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • Identify contemporary forms of human slavery.
Topical Outline:
  • Anthropological perspectives on slavery and human trafficking
  • Slave identities
  • Slavery in Africa
  • Savery in Asia
  • Slavery in the Americas
  • Abolotion and emancipation
  • Contemporary forms of slavery and human trafficking

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: August 22, 2011
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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