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Between slavery and the burden of freedom: workers and forms of labor exploitation in historical perspective

Grant number: 13/21979-5
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: April 01, 2014 - March 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Fernando Teixeira da Silva
Grantee:Fernando Teixeira da Silva
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
( Últimos )
Claudio Henrique de Moraes Batalha ; Lucilene Reginaldo ; Robert Wayne Andrew Slenes ; Silvia Hunold Lara
Pesquisadores principais:
( Antigos )
Fernando Teixeira da Silva
Associated researchers:Camila Loureiro Dias ; Lucilene Reginaldo ; Ricardo Figueiredo Pirola ; Rodrigo Camargo de Godoi
Associated grant(s):18/00819-3 - Digital cartography and historical cartography of the Atlantic world, AV.EXT
Associated scholarship(s):18/19162-4 - Achieving freedom under the Holy Oils: baptismal manumissions in Campinas, 1774-1871, BP.MS
18/13073-0 - Trade, politics and labor in the Angola's hinterland: sertanejos and central Africans in the pages of António da Silva Porto (1841-1869), BP.MS
18/00895-1 - The social movements experience in Goiás historiographical debates and social networks (1950-1984), BP.PD
+ associated scholarships 18/19186-0 - Sources for the Southern Africa history in the Edgard Leuenroth archive: a documentary repertoire, BP.TT
17/21874-0 - Bicho de sete cabeças: the criminalization of marijuana in Rio de Janeiro during the 1930s, BP.DR
18/04025-1 - Tutelage, assistance and indigenous labor in the Brazilian Republic period (1910-1988), BP.IC
18/03897-5 - Rural workers, legislation and labor rights (1930-1964) , BP.IC
17/21487-6 - About letters and laws: Indianism and justice in Bernardo Guimarães, BP.DR
17/18792-1 - Literature, press and justice: an analysis of Antonio Gonçalves Teixeira e Sousa’s novel O Filho do Pescador (1843), BP.IC
17/12859-7 - Black associativism as seen through Frederico Baptista de Souza's story - São Paulo (1870-1940), BP.DR
17/18127-8 - The "good farmer" and his "encostados": strategies and struggle for land in the city of Valença (1850-1888), BP.MS
17/11799-0 - Dimensions of color and faces of politics in the nineteenth century's Brazil: a study based on the trajectory of the Viscount of Jequitinhonha, BP.DR
17/08502-6 - A mulata velha está toda sacudida: politics and social movements in Bahia (1927-1937), BP.DR
17/07096-4 - Nyonxani, tikweni: music, colonialism and nation in Mozambique (1950-1980), BP.PD
17/10459-1 - Right, favour, justice: Navy Arsenal workers and the construction of citizenship in Rio de Janeiro during the second half of the nineteenth century, BP.PD
17/01705-9 - Social movements in dispute: repression, struggles and experiences of workers in Salvador (1947-1964), BP.DR
16/13865-8 - From the literary projects of the "men of letters" to the combative literature of the "women of letters": press, literature and gender in late nineteenth-century Brazil, BP.DR
16/12975-4 - Forros and cativos: law, practices and concepts of free and slave labor in Maranhão and Pará (1680-1798), BP.PD
16/05888-8 - The experiences of industrial workers under the repression: Vale do Paraíba, Brazil, 1979-1994, BP.DR
15/22566-1 - Class conflicts in decision making processes of the Superior Labor Court (1946-1968), BP.DR
16/06321-1 - Labor legislation in Brazil (1930-1988), BP.IC
16/02398-0 - Within the limits of the law? Compulsory, forced labour, or analogous to slavery, BP.PD
15/21428-4 - Parties and festivities of the Colored Men Associations in the State of São Paulo (1897-1931), BP.DR
15/19848-5 - African and Afro-Brazilian characters: race, slavery and the illegal slave trade in Brazilian Literature during the formation of the nation, 1830-1870, BP.DR
15/12033-6 - Vicente de Souza: histories of a "mulatto" teacher, physician and politician in the Empire and the Republic, BP.PD
14/22523-8 - Grievances and workplace conflict in the railroad industry, Chicago, 1946-1958, BP.DR
14/19669-0 - Intellectual laborers: authors, journalists and publishers in Rio de Janeiro (1850-1920), BP.PD
14/19729-3 - Labor law in Brazil (1889-1930), BP.IC
14/10424-5 - Legislation on forced labour in Portuguese colonies during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, BP.IC
12/17092-2 - The Exodus of 1835: African freedmen in Bahia and Dahomey in the aftermath of the Malê Rebellion, BP.PD - associated scholarships


Taking as its point of departure the ambiguities of the boundary between slavery and free labor and of the legal framework regulating labor relations, this project proposes to analyze situations and contexts in which different work regimes, rather than standing as dichotomous, coexist or even complement one another. The aim is not just to discuss intermediate cases between slavery and other forms of labor relations, be they contractual or compulsory, but also to examine the ways that workers dealt with the diverse strategies of control to which they were subjected. The proposal, therefore, contests the presumption that there is a rigorous distinction between slavery and free labor and an unquestionable progression from one form of labor to the other, irrespective of the modalities of coercion imposed on workers. To investigate the strategies of dominion over working people in historical perspective, the project articulates three themes of research: one, analyzing the processes of enslavement, another discussing the compulsive character of labor contracts, and a third examining the legal and juridical constraints regulating free labor. Under the first rubric, different modalities of enslavement and of the exercise of seigniorial dominion are explored in diverse historical contexts, with the focus on comparing aspects of Indian and black slavery in the Americas, the forms of slavery and forced labor in Africa, and work analogous to slavery in the contemporary world. Within the second thematic area, the analysis is aimed primarily at compulsion inscribed in free labor. Examined here are diverse situations during the existence of slavery and in the post-abolition period which compelled workers to labor, under a contractual mantle. Finally, within the third theme, attention is directed toward the legal, institutional and juridical constraints that exist in the world of labor called "free." In addition to embracing individual research projects, which focus empirically on a variety of questions, places and time periods, the present proposal also includes collective activities, to wit: the development of studies using literary and iconographic sources for the analysis of the world of labor; the production of research instruments that index legal sources; the digital reproduction of archival collections to preserve documents in danger of destruction and to facilitate research; and the divulging of information about sets of documents that are important for this area of study. (AU)

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