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"Freedom is a good thing but it means a dearth of slaves": Twentieth Century Solutions to the Abolition of Slavery

When Feb 11, 2005
from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where Alumni Fireside Lounge, Nittany Lion Inn
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SUZANNE MIERS

 

Professor Emerita in History, Ohio University

Suzanne Miers (née Doyle) was born to American parents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Belgian Congo) in 1922, and was educated in Brussels and London. She was awarded a BA by the University of London in 1944 and an MA in 1949. She married Brigadier Richard Miers the same year, by whom she has two children. After his death in 1962, she took a Ph.D. in African History at the University of London. She taught at the University of London 1947-8, the University of Malaya (Singapore) 1955-8, the University of Wisconsin 1967-8 and 1969-70, and at Ohio University from 1970 until her retirement in 1990. She married Professor Roland Oliver the same year.

She is the author of Britain and the Ending of the Slave Trade, Longmans 1975, and Slavery in the Twentieth Century: The Evolution of a Global Problem, Altamira Press (Roman and Littlefield) 2003. She co-edited Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives with Igor Kopytoff, Wisconsin 1977, The End of Slavery in Africa with Richard Roberts¸ Wisconsin 1988, Women in Chinese Patriarchy: Submission Servitude and Escapewith Maria Jaschok, Zed Books 1994, and Slavery and Colonial Rule in Africa with Martin A. Klein, Frank Cass, 1998. She is now editing a book on women in slavery with Gwyn Campbell and Joseph C. Miller. She is the author of numerous articles, book reviews and conference papers.

"Freedom is a good thing but it means a dearth of slaves": Twentieth Century Solutions to the Abolition of Slavery

This lecture will discuss the various forms of chattel slavery which existed at the beginning of the twentieth century and trace how and why the definition and the forms of servitude changed in the course of the century as the demand for cheap and controllable labor increased. Millions of people are in what are now called "contemporary forms of slavery." These include forced labor, forced prostitution, child labor, forced marriage, cult slavery and other abuses. The lecture will describe international efforts and national efforts to end them and will consider what we as individuals can do to further the abolitionist cause.