Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as bourgeois, mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. Manisha Sinha overturns this image, recasting abolition as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in international causes ranging from utopian socialism, feminism, pacifism, and anti-imperialism to efforts to defend the rights of Native Americans, labor, and immigrants. The abolitionist vision linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe.
Manisha Sinha is the Draper Chair in Early American History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. She is the author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina, which was named one of the ten best books on slavery in Politico and The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, which was featured as the Editor’s Choice in The New York Times Book Review. Sinha is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including two year-long fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed on faculty at the University of Massachusetts. She was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society and is on the Council of Advisors for the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center of the New Public Library. Sinha has written for The New York Times and The Huffington Post, appeared on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show in 2014, and was an adviser and on-screen expert for the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, The Abolitionists (2013).
4:00pm – 5:30pm
Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Boardroom
The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support