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Marriage and Slavery in the Early Portuguese Atlantic World

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Maison Francaise East Gallery, Buell Hall

Columbia University

515 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

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Charlotte de Castelnau-L'Estoile, in conversation with Amy Chazkel and Natasha Lightfoot

Marriage played a crucial role in the making of a Catholic slavery-based society such as that of Brazil from the 16th century to the 19th century. Historical sources such as legal documents and petitions from slaves can shed light on the topic. In this Catholic world, marriage was accessible to slaves, in theory at least, without their master’s permission. The point is to understand how the ecclesiastical institution made possible some marital freedom within the slavery system and how slaves used this real but limited right to claim some area of autonomy. Attentive to slaves’ voices, this lecture is an invitation to think about the functioning of the long-standing slavery-based Brazilian society, developed between Africa, America and Europe.

Charlotte de Castelnau-L'Estoile is Professor of Early Modern History at the Université de Paris 7 – Diderot. Her research interests include the history of slavery and the history of Catholicism in the modern era. Amy Chazkel is Associate Professor of History at CUNY Graduate Center. Natasha Lightfoot is Associate Professor of History at Columbia.

Event co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities. Made possible with support from the Institut Français.

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Maison Francaise East Gallery, Buell Hall

Columbia University

515 West 116th Street

New York, NY 10027

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