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Providence College: The Intellectual Origins of American Slavery

February 24, 2023 @ 3:00 pm

Plantation field with slaves

On February 24, 2023, the Frederick Douglass Project at Providence College will host John Harpham for a discussion of The Intellectual Origins of American Slavery:

What were the origins of American slavery? From the time of the constitution to the present, the attempt to answer this question has been an urgent concern for observers of the national past. Some have stressed the role of material economic interests. Others have held that the origins of slavery are to be found in the earlier development of race and racism. In his new book, John Samuel Harpham casts doubt on both of these accounts on the basis of a wealth of original research. The Intellectual Origins of American Slavery aims to provide a new standard account. In so doing, it focuses attention on what is perhaps the most troubling question to be asked about the origins of American slavery: how did what we now consider perhaps the most terrible wrong in the history of the nation first come to be seen as right?

Friday, February 24, 2023 • 3:00 PM ET
Ruane 105 • Providence College

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John Samuel Harpham is a junior fellow in the Harper-Schmidt Society of Fellows at the University of Chicago. The Intellectual Origins of American Slavery is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Learn more about John Harpham >>



From the program:

The Frederick Douglass Project is an initiative of the Humanities Program at Providence College, with support from the Jack Miller Center, which aims to cultivate in students the skills of reasoned debate and persuasion necessary for a healthy and free society. The Frederick Douglass Project promotes a greater understanding of the importance of rational disputation and persuasion in our democracy, and offers students the opportunity to practice those arts. To that end, it sponsors a series of speaker events and writing workshops culminating in a persuasive Essay & Public Speaking contest held in the Spring semester.

Learn more about the Frederick Douglass Project >>



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February 24, 2023
3:00 pm
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