More Free than Enslaved? An in-depth study of Old Doll’s Family, Barbados 1754-1838

Course Dates: 15/06/24 - 22/06/24
Time: 11:00 - 13:30
Location: Keeley Street
Join us for an in-depth study of this incredible, and possibly unique, family. What can their story tell us about the impact of race, social class and gender upon the lives of enslaved women in Barbados?
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00

More Free than Enslaved? An in-depth study of Old Doll’s Family, Barbados 1754-1838
  • Course Code: HAH104
  • Dates: 15/06/24 - 22/06/24
  • Time: 11:00 - 13:30
  • Taught: Sat, Daytime
  • Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street

Course Code: HAH104

Sat, day, 15 Jun - 22 Jun '24

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

On this course we will explore the lives of ‘Old Doll’s Family’ - a family of determined and strong willed women who challenge stereotypical assumptions about the lives of enslaved people working on Caribbean sugar plantations. We will investigate the circumstances which led to their elevated status upon the Newton Plantation and how they maintained their position. We will examine what it meant to be an ‘elite status’ enslaved person in Barbados. We will investigate the complexities of the women’s relationships and their efforts in undermining and resisting their enslavement. We will explore how this group of enslaved people engaged with other social groups, both enslaved and free, working towards their own advancement and their quest for freedom. This course will primarily focus on Old Doll’s family, but in addition it will use other sources to compare and contrast their situation.

What will we cover?

• What do historians mean by ‘elite status’ when referring to an enslaved person?
• How were the lives of those with elite status different from other enslaved people?
• The role of the family in maintaining elite status
• The curious case of Mary Hylas
• Elite status enslaved women’s intimate relationships
• The impact of interracial relationships upon the family and their children
• The power struggle between the family and the Newton Plantation managers.
• Types of resistance undertaken by both the women in the family and other elite status enslaved people.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Evaluate the significance of the decline of indentured labour in relation to the evolution of elite status enslaved people in Barbados
• Assess the hierarchal nature of society in Barbados and describe the impact this had on those enslaved people with elite status as well as the descendants of indentured servants
• Explain the legal case involving Mary Hylas, and its impact on the family’s special treatment
• Identify the privileges afforded to those enslaved people with elite status in comparison to the majority of enslaved people
• Discuss how elite status impacted enslaved women’s relationships
• Assess the impact of interracial relationships upon elite status enslaved women and their children and discuss whether historians can make any judgement regarding the agency of women in these relationships.
• Identify different types of resistance the family engaged in and assess the impact of elite status upon enslaved resistance and rebellion.
• Evaluate the phrase used to describe Old Doll’s family - ‘More free than Slave’.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is expected. This course is interactive, so a good standard of English and a willingness to engage positively and respectfully during group discussions and debates is all that is required.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will be taught via tutor presentation and group discussions. Contributions are encouraged and details of optional further reading will be given. The workshop will use multiple primary sources to engage learners through group analysis and discussion.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No other costs. Bring a pen and notebook if desired.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.