From slave revolts to social death

  • Renisa MawaniEmail author


In this article, I situate Orlando Patterson’s magnum opus, Slavery and Social Death alongside his earlier writings on slavery and slave revolts in Jamaica. To appreciate fully Patterson’s contributions to sociology, comparative historical sociology, and the wider literature on slavery, readers must engage with the full corpus of his scholarly production. By reading his body of work all together, as part of a much larger whole, social death may take on new angles, depths, and dimensions. Patterson’s previous work on slavery and slave revolts in Jamaica, I suggest, invites novel ways to read his formulations of social death while opening other archives through which to study the (after)lives of slavery.


Atlantic slavery Law Middle passage Property Slave revolts Social death 



My deepest gratitude to Fiona Greenland for inviting me to be part of the ASA Panel on Orlando Patterson’s work in Philadelphia (2018), and to Orlando Patterson and George Steinmetz for their comments on earlier drafts of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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