In this course, we will explore the history of slavery in the lands that would become the United States. We will focus on the experiences of enslaved people, but we will also explore slavery as an institution, its importance to the state, its influence on the social, legal, economic, and political life of the U.S., and its role in American empire. We will also consider slavery’s afterlives, defined by Saidiya Hartman as the way “black lives are still imperiled and devalued by a racial calculus and a political arithmetic that were entrenched centuries ago.”