Faculty of Philosophy Religion, Society, and World Relations Knowledge, Spaces, and Media Research

Property in one’s own body and in the bodies of others in the United States between the eighteenth and twentieth century

Subproject in the SFB TRR294 "Structural Change of Property". The subproject explores the ownership of others’ bodies based on the history of slavery in the USA.

01/2021 - 12/2024

Project management

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Martschukat
Holder of the professorship for North American History (Nordamerikanische Geschichte) (Historisches Seminar)
Dr. Felix Krämer
Neuere und Nordamerikanische Geschichte (Historisches Seminar)


Helen Anne Gibson

Moana Jean Packo

Main project

Related projects

Making things available Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa,
Dr. Jörg Oberthür
Hybrid ownership structures Prof. Dr. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath
Clash or Convergence of capitalisms PD Dr. Stefan Schmalz
Urban property regimes Prof. Dr. Martin Fuchs,
Prof. Dr. Beatrice Renzi
Property and habit Prof. Dr. Bernhard Kleeberg,
Prof. Dr. Martin Mulsow
Divine property Prof. Dr. Jörg Rüpke,
Prof. Dr. Markus Vinzent

The subproject focuses, firstly, on the question of how humans were made into objects of property and how that situation was transposed from the colonial era into the property structure of the new USA and legitimised as a racist social order.

Secondly, the project investigates the desire of the enslaved to become subjects of property – primarily, by buying themselves back. Thirdly, it examines the causal relationship between slavery and modern-day inequality of ownership through the lens of the current debate on reparation payments for the descendants of slaves.