David Brion Davis is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and former director of Yale's Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. He is the author of award-winning works that include The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967, and The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, for which he won the National Book Award and the Bancroft Prize in 1975. In the Image of God assembles many of his wide-ranging essays on the origins and enduring legacy of slavery and racism. In this lecture, Davis briefly discusses his own journey to his work studying slavery and addresses the broad outlines of his research: the universality of chattel slavery. He focuses as well on the "sexual honor" case of Celia, an enslaved woman in Missouri in the 1850s who killed the owner who took advantage of her.
Columbia University professor Christopher Brown, author of Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism (2006), examines the rise of anti-slavery thought during the Revolutionary era. Focusing on the often contrasting motivations behind the anti-slavery rhetoric of the British and the Americans, Brown pointedly illustrates how the anti-slavery movement was a global phenomenon that emerged from a wide variety of ideologies.