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Spring 2023 Reading Group

Advanced Readings in The Thirteenth Amendment

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This course focuses on the Reconstruction Amendments, directing the core of its readings and class engagement to the Thirteenth Amendment. Students will study the amendment, the legislative history and debates leading to it, including early Colonial and American laws. Students will read cases as well as the writings of scholars, abolitionists, and persons most affected by American slavery, including people who were enslaved as well as those who enslaved. As well, we will examine the social climate during the Antebellum period, reading passages from diaries, news articles, and advertisement central to slavery and ultimately the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. The course will conclude with an examination of post-Thirteenth Amendment lawmaking in the United States.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4.