Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Descriptions

GLS 592: Enslaving America

Instructor: Mark Boren

branding a slave

Throughout its history, the United States has often been referred to as "the Land of Freedom," but the U.S. has also hosted tremendous, sometimes abominable, systems of human control, as well as notions of "freedom." We will address the implicit legacies of enslavement, and a significant portion of the course will be devoted to studying how the language and forces of human control continue to influence us today in a variety of ways, from race relations to the power of capitalism and construction of gender.

Texts include (Check with the instructor to ensure these books are those required for the current course offering.)

  • Douglass, Autobiography;
  • Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl;
  • Crane, Maggie, A Girl of the Streets;
  • Morrison, The Bluest Eye;
  • Grimsley, Winter Birds;
  • Foucault, Birth of the Prision.

*Image Source: William O. Blake, The History of Slavery and the Slave Trade (Columbus, Ohio, 1857), p. 97 from website --

Last Update: February 10, 2017