LEC: “Negro Cloth” by Seth Rockman @ The New School

The New School History Department and the Market Cultures Group NYC
invites you to attend:

“Negro Cloth: Mastering the Market for Slave Clothing in Antebellum America”
Seth Rockman
Associate Professor of History
Brown University

Monday, May 6 @ 6pm
80 Fifth Avenue, Room 529

This talk considers the emergence of the American “negro cloth” industry in
the 1820s and 1830s. At the intersection of material culture studies,
business history, and comparative slavery, this talk traces the circuits of
social knowledge that complemented the circuits of capital in the
simultaneous expansion of the factory and the plantation. Enslaved men
and women played a collaborative role in the design of particular textiles,
and their preferences for some products and critiques of others structured
patterns of labor hundreds of miles away. The research is drawn from a
larger study underway on the inter-regional trade in plantation provisions:
Northern-made hats, hoes, shoes, shovels, and even whips manufactured
for use on Southern slave plantations.

Seth Rockman is associate professor of History at Brown University. His
2009 book Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early
Baltimore won several awards, including the Merle Curti Prize from the
Organization of American Historians. Rockman’s essay on the Jacksonian Era
appears in the recent American History Now volume published by the American
Historical Association. His findings on North-South economic ties have been
previewed in the New York Times “Disunion” blog and the Bloomberg News
“Echoes” blog. Rockman serves on the governing board of Brown University’s
Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice.


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