The University of Chicago
Department of History
1126 East 59th Street, Mailbox 76
Chicago, IL 60637
Office Location: Social Science Research Bldg., room 225c
Nineteenth-century United States; slavery and emancipation; political economy; legal, gender; cultural, social.
Amy Dru Stanley's research and teaching focus on US history, from the early Republic through the Progressive Era. She is especially interested in the history of capitalism, slavery, and emancipation, and the historical experience of moral problems. Methodologically, she works at the intersections of intellectual, social, and legal history. Current interests extend to visual culture.
She has received various fellowships and awards, including a University of Chicago Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate teaching in 2009 and a Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2005.
Her current and former PhD students work on issues ranging from slavery and memory, risk, and urban space to marriage, civil rights, working women, consumer culture, the free press, temperance, tax policy, mental health, and criminal law.
Love, Commerce, and Abolition:The Peculiar Path of Human Rights in America (forthcoming Harvard University Press)
From Bondage to Contract: Wage Labor, Marriage and the Market in the Age of Slave Emancipation (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
From Bondage to Contract has received the following prizes:
Frederick Jackson Turner Prize, 1999 (For the best first book in US History, awarded by the Organization of American Historians)
Morris D. Forkosch Award, 1999 (For the best book in intellectual history)
Avery O. Craven Award, 1999 (For the best book on the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, awarded by the Organization of American Historians)
Frederick Douglass Prize, 1999 - Honorable Mention (For the best book on the history of slavery)
"The Traffic in Things and the Rights of Persons: An American Peculiarity" in The New History of Capitalism, ed. Sven Beckert and Christine Desan (forthcoming).
"Slave Breeding and Free Love: An Antebellum Argument over Slavery, Capitalism, and Personhood" in Capitalism Takes Command, ed., Michael Zakim and Gary Kornblith (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
"Instead of Waiting for the Thirteenth Amendment: The War Power, Slave Marriage, and Inviolate Human Rights" American Historical Review, June 2010.
"When We Were Young" in Wayne F. Miller: Photographs 1942-1958, ed. Stephen Daiter (Powerhouse Books, 2008)
"Wages, Sin, and Slavery: Some Thoughts on Free Will and Commodity Relations," Journal of the Early Republic 24 (Summer 2004).
"Dominion and Dependence in the Law of Freedom and Slavery," Law & Social Inquiry (2003)
"Marriage, Property, and Ideals of Class," in Blackwell's Companion to American Women's History, ed. Nancy Hewitt (Blackwell Press, 2002).
"The Right to Possess All the Faculties that God has Given: Possessive Individualism, Slave Women, and Abolitionist Thought," in Moral Problems in American Life, ed., Lewis Perry and Karen Halttunnen (Cornell University Press, 1999).
"Home Life and the Morality of the Marketplace: Slavery and Freedom,Women and Men," in The Market Revolution in America, ed., Melvyn Stokes (University of Virginia Press, 1996).
"Beggars Can't Be Choosers: Compulsion and Contract in Postbellum America," Journal of American History 78 (March 1992), 1265-93.
"Conjugal Bonds and Wage Labor: Rights of Contract in the Age of Emancipation," Journal of American History 75 (September 1988), 471-500.