These resources take a broad approach to the history of slavery and captivity, seeking to introduce, define, and theorize these concepts across a wide range of societies and time periods.

Selected Bibliography

  • Bodel, John, and Walter Scheidel, eds. On Human Bondage: After Slavery and Social Death. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
  • Cameron, Catherine. “Captives and Culture Change: Implications for Archaeology.” Current Anthropology, 52, no. 2 (2011): 169-209.
  • Cameron, Catherine M. Captives: How Stolen People Changed the World. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.
  • Fynn-Paul, Jeffrey, and Damian Pargas, eds. Slaving Zones: Cultural Identities, Ideologies, and Institutions in the Evolution of Global Slavery. Leiden: Brill, 2018.
  • Johnson, Walter. “On Agency.” Journal of Social History 37 (2003): 113–24.
  • Meillassoux, Claude. The Anthropology of Slavery: The Womb of Iron and Gold. Translated by Alide Dasnois. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.
  • Miers, Suzanne, and Igor Kopytoff. “Introduction: African ‘Slavery’ as an Institution of Marginality.” In Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives. edited by Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff, 3-84. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977.
  • Miller, Joseph. The Problem of Slavery as History: A Global Approach. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.
  • Otterbein, K. F. “Killing of Captured Enemies: A Cross-Cultural Study.” Current Anthropology 41, no. 3 (2000): 439-443.
  • Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982.
  • Patterson, Orlando. Freedom: Freedom in the Making of Western Culture. New York: Basic Books, 1991.
  • Patterson, Orlando. “Slavery: Comparative Aspects.” In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, 14152-14157. New York: Elsevier, 2001.
  • Scheidel, Walter. “The comparative economics of slavery in the Greco-Roman world.” In Slave Systems, Ancient and Modern, edited by Enrico Del Lago and Constantina Katsari, 105-126. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Taylor, Tim. “Ambushed by a grotesque: archaeology, slavery and the third paradigm.” In Warfare, Violence and Slavery in Prehistory, edited by Mike Pearson and I.J.N. Thorpe, 225-232. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2005.
  • Thomas, Lynn M. “Historicising Agency.” Gender & History 28, no. 2 (2016): 324–39.
  • Vlassopoulos, Kostas. “Does Slavery Have a History?” Journal of Global Slavery 1, no. 1 (2016): 5–27.
  • Watson, James. “Slavery as an Institution, Open and Closed Systems.” In Asian and African Systems of Slavery, edited by James Watson, 1-15. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.


Hannah Barker, Paul Lane, Craig Perry, Michael Smith, Rebecca Winer, Don Wyatt