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Grant number like: FEL-273005-21

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Cassia Roth
University of Georgia (Athens, GA 30602-0001)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2021 – 7/31/2022

Birthing Abolition: Enslaved Women, Reproduction, and the Gradual End of Slavery in Nineteenth-Century Brazil

Research and writing leading to a book on enslaved women, reproduction, and abolition in Brazil, 1820s-1888.

This project argues that enslaved women's reproductive agency shaped the legal parameters of abolition in nineteenth-century Brazil. It traces how enslaved women's reproduction, and elite efforts to control it, in the early century allowed for later legislation based on captive women's reproductive bodies. In particular the threat of reproductive resistance, or abortion and infanticide as purposeful attacks on the institution of slavery, loomed large in the imagination of both pro- and anti-slavery political elites. The project contends that negative biological growth in conjunction with enslaved women's actions created the space for abolitionists to implement the legal framework that ended slavery.