About Us

The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) is a scholarly research center with a public educational 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 the legacies of slavery shape our contemporary world.   We are attentive to contemporary forms of human bondage and injustice.

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

  • Slavery, History, and Modernity 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.
  • Human Trafficking explores contemporary forms of human bondage and engages in public programing around this issue.
  • Investigating the Criminal Justice System focuses on prison and relations between the police and Black community.
  • Creating a Network of Scholars connects the work of innovative scholars around the world who are exploring the history and legacies of slavery.
  • Freedom Archive 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.