Wright to Edit "Slavery Since Emancipation" Book Series

Cambridge University Press has announced that Dr. Robert Wright, Augustana's Nef Family Chair of Political Economy and director of the Thomas Willing Institute, will serve as editor for "Slavery Since Emancipation," a new book series that aims to provide students, scholars and activists with books that place modern forms of slavery in historical context.

Titles in the series will apply the essential question: "How do we begin to understand the historical origins of these problems?" to topics ranging from human trafficking, child labor, the industrial-prison complex, and the other forms of coercive labor prevalent today.

"Freedom is a good thing, the key pillar of our society," says Wright. "So we need more of it. Various forms of unfreedom – from chattel slavery to debt peonage to the forced confinement of an entire race of people on reservations – haunt our past but also stalk our future. We can't do much about past injustices but we can sure as heck strive to limit unfreedom today by helping trafficked sex workers, enslaved children, and others forced to labor against their will, right here in America as well as abroad."

Developed in cooperation with Historians Against Slavery, a non-profit organization composed of scholars who recognize and abhor the continued existence of bound labor in the United States and abroad, the series seeks to publish serious academic studies that explicitly tie slavery's past to its present, that consciously scan history for lessons of relevance to contemporary abolitionists, or that directly engage current issues of interest to activists by contextualizing them historically.