Stephanie Jones-Rogers, University of Iowa

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Women and Gender Seminar
Friday, October 18, 2013

3 pm to 5 pm


“Rethinking Sexual Violence and the Marketplace of Slavery”
Stephanie Jones-Rogers, University of Iowa

Drawing upon interviews with former slaves, this paper challenges the masculinization of sexual violence in the context of American slavery. It contends that formerly enslaved people defined sexually violent acts in ways that rendered white slaveholding women culpable in their bodily violation. It contemplates how gender and racial biases in law and in custom shape our understanding of sexual violence and foreclose the possibility of recognizing female perpetrators and delivering justice to their victims. More profoundly, this paper also shows how some white women extracted value from enslaved females’ reproductive bodies and elucidates how they profited from doing so.

Commentator: Kate Masur, Northwestern University

Cost and registration information: 

Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically.  For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at  Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.