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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Manisha Sinha

Second Advisor

Barbara Krauthamer

Third Advisor

Hilary Moss

Subject Categories

Africana Studies | European History | Intellectual History | United States History | Women's History


The radical nature of abolitionist activism and ideology at institutions of higher learning is the analytical focus of this study. A host of abolitionists from a variety of backgrounds made colleges sites of struggle for emancipation and racial equality. Central to these struggles was the role of students whose contributions to the abolition movement were crucial to its evolution. A focus on abolitionists from multiple institutions reveals a significant demographic of activists that has been largely overlooked and whose advocacy provides a new window into the movement’s history. Abolitionist dissent at colleges was a proximate refutation to the growth of academic thought that legitimized slaving and also promoted racist ideologies. Abolitionist thought and activism at colleges threw into question the very nature and utility of college learning in the British-American Atlantic World. Tracing a history of abolition at numerous colleges, theological seminaries, and universities across time and space, from the northern United States to Britain, this study re-evaluates the connections of the political economy of Atlantic slaving to institutions of higher learning. By studying the thought and actions of historical actors beyond trustees, faculty, and benefactors, this project offers a history of radical resistance to the politics of slavery and racism at colleges and the reverberations of that resistance beyond the campus.


Available for download on Sunday, September 01, 2024