About Us

The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) is a scholarly research center with a public humanities mission. Recognizing that racial and chattel slavery were central to the historical formation of the Americas and the modern world, the CSSJ creates a space for the interdisciplinary study of the historical forms of slavery while also examining how these legacies shape our contemporary world. We are also attentive to contemporary forms of human bondage and injustice.

The Center’s work is currently organized around the following research clusters:

  • Slavery, History, and Modernity. This project examines the role of slavery in shaping the modern world and its connection to modern forms of economic activity and production. The cluster operates through a series of research workshops on specific elements of economic, political and social life that constitutes the modern. Research will be mapped in empirical historical ways. Project led by Prof. Anthony Bogues, Prof. Roquinaldo Ferreira, and Prof. Seth Rockman.

  • Human Trafficking. This project explores contemporary forms of human bondage and engages in public programing around this issue. Project led by Prof. Elena Shih.

  • Investigating the Criminal Justice System. This project focuses on prison and relations between the police and Black community. Project led by Prof. Anthony Bogues (interim).

  • Creating a Network of Scholars. This program connects the work of innovative scholars around the world who are exploring the history and legacies of slavery. Project led by Prof. Roquinaldo Ferreira.

  • Freedom Archive. This program creates an inventory of materials in the Brown University Library and special collections related to slavery and abolition to help scholars more easily access this material. Project led by Prof. Françoise N. Hamlin.