This book originated in a 2011 conference hosted by the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas. Our thanks to History Department Chair Alan Tully, Director Julie Hardwick, and Program Coordinator Courtney Meador for providing such a wonderful space and the logistical acumen to support our work, and to the attendees for their insightful questions and comments. In 2012, many of the contributors to the volume workshopped their papers over a weekend sponsored by the New York University Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the City University of New York Graduate Center. Thanks to Jennifer L. Morgan and Herman Bennett for organizing these meetings. Throughout the life of this project, Catherine Clinton has provided stalwart intellectual and personal support as we worked to bring the volume to publication. Brenda Brooten, Pero Dagbovie, Jacqueline Jones, Wilma King, and Jennifer L. Morgan offered strong intellectual support for this project. We are also grateful to Emory University, Northwestern University, and the University of Texas for granting financial support toward the completion of this volume.
Anonymous readers for Oxford University Press and the University of Georgia Press provided valuable feedback on the essays in the volume. Special thanks go to Sharon Block, who suggested that we include the opening essay in the volume from our late colleague and friend Stephanie M. H. Camp, and who took the lead in securing permissions for the images therein and for editing the essay with careful attention to Stephanie’s voice and intent. We are also grateful to the Journal of the History of Sexuality and the Journal of African American History for permission to reprint Thomas Foster’s and Brenda Stevenson’s articles.
The University of Georgia Press staff, especially Lisa Bayer, Katherine Grace LaMantia, Jordan Stepp, and Jon Davies, have been patient with us through unforeseen delays. We are pleased that they suggested this book serve as the inaugural project for the new Gender and Slavery series. J. E. Morgan provided expert assistance in securing the cover image, and Deborah Oliver’s copyediting made this a better volume. We also wish to thank Nancy Gerth for completing the index and taking the time to highlight key topics covered in this work.
Last but not least, working on this volume confirmed for each of us the importance of scholarly collaboration in building and deepening historical knowledge. The essays presented here represent only part of the network of scholars that grew stronger as a result of our work together. They offer new ways to consider the intimate lives of the enslaved and those who claimed ownership of them. We are grateful to have been part of this endeavor.