School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Caribbean slavery

Philip Morgan, the Harry C. Black Professor, Johns Hopkins University and Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh, will deliver a public lecture on Caribbean slavery, 6pm Wednesday 9 October 2013.

The event will take place in Teviot Lecture Theatre, Doorway 5, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG.

World slavery series

Professor Morgan’s lecture will be the third in a new public lecture series, ‘World Slavery from Antiquity to the Present’, hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, with special support from the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies and the Classics subject area.

The event may be photographed or recorded for promotional or recruitment materials for the University and University approved third parties.


Caribbean slavery was far more variegated and complex than typically depicted. It was not a monolithic institution, but rather flexible, dynamic, and multifaceted. Indeed, by the late 18th century - at the height of the region’s prosperity - the majority of Caribbean slaves did not grow sugar, the iconic crop with which the region is identified.

The aim of this lecture is to recognise the variety and diversity of Caribbean slavery. To that end, there are three parts. The first concerns the predominant form of slavery in the early Caribbean, which was Native American bondage.

The second turns to African slavery but the aim is to show how much that institution was put to uses other than sugar.

Finally attention will turn to urban slavery, a major feature of Caribbean life that deserves more attention than it has received. These various sections will make the case that there were many Caribbean slaveries, not one.

Biography of the speaker

Philip D. Morgan is Harry C. Black Professor, Johns Hopkins University and Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh.

His ‘Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry’ (1998) won many prizes. Other recent works of his include: ‘African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry’ (2010), ‘Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World, c. 1450-c.1850’ (2011), ‘Maritime Slavery’ (2012), and ‘Early North America in Global Perspective’ (2013).

He is currently working on a history of the early Caribbean.

Free but ticketed

Please book via the Eventbrite link below.