Book Talk and Signing with Katherine Johnston

Katherine Johnston, a historian studying slavery, race and the environment in Atlantic plantation societies, will deliver a book talk on Monday, Jan. 23, at 5 p.m. in American Indian Hall, Room 166, at Montana State University. The event, followed by a book signing and light refreshments, is free and open to the public. Johnston, an assistant professor in the Department of History and Philosophy in MSU’s College of Letters and Science, will talk about her new book, “The Nature of Slavery,” which explores how plantation owners in the Caribbean and the American South in the late 18th century insisted that only Black people could labor on plantations. They argued that Africans, unlike Europeans, had bodies particularly suited to cultivate crops in hot climates. The book states that the claim had multiple legacies, including the development of theories of biological race and the justification of racial slavery in Anglo-American plantation societies. Through rigorous research, Johnston challenges those assertions in her book and shows how slaveholders fabricated claims to serve their own interests, exploring how their argument took root in the public imagination. She demonstrates the ways that a language of nature imbued racist theories with authority, laying the groundwork for environmentally racist practices. Johnston’s lecture is hosted by the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West and The Extreme History Project.

Cost: FREE

Age: All Ages


This event is over.

Mon. Jan. 23, 2023   5-6:30pm

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American Indian Hall, Montana State University
6th & Garfield South
Bozeman, MT 59715