Mothering and Labour in the Antebellum South

5:30pm - 7:00pm / Thursday 15th November 2018 / Venue: Seminar Room 3 Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Centre for the Study of International Slavery
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Mothering and Labour in the Slaveholding Households of the Antebellum South with Dr Rosie Knight (University of Sheffield).

This paper explores the ways in which female enslavers exploited enslaved mothers as both manual and reproductive labourers in the slaveholding households of the antebellum American south.

Through enslaved women’s roles in the care of free white children, ‘mistresses’’ roles in the care of enslaved children, and the practice of enslaved wet-nursing, this paper examines white women’s interests in the different aspects of enslaved women’s labour, their bodies, and their babies; the various interventions they made to captivate personal, familial, and financial benefit; and the distinct and challenging conditions this created for enslaved women to parent their children in. In doing so, it illuminates the diversity in enslaved women’s experiences of motherhood, the role of white women in enslaved families’.