One commonality between the United States and Russia is both had systems of human bondage. Russia-serfdom. The United States-slavery. Though both systems differed in origins, practice, and logics, they were systems where human beings were property to be bought, sold, exploited and abused.
Also, in a twist of historical irony, serfdom was abolished in autocratic Russia in 1861, a mere four years before the abolition of slavery in the republican US. Both systems, however, were undone in radically different ways. In Russia, it was a "revolution from above," a long, but peaceful, legal process managed by Tsar. The US was torn apart by civil war, and enslaved people freed themselves by fleeing their owners for the Union army.
So what to make of these two system of bondage shared by two unlikely states? How did it shape their future? And how did serfdom and chattel slavery fit within a wider international practice of human bondage?
This live interview with Amanda Brickell Bellows, New School, and Alessandro Stanziani, School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, France, will explore these issues and more.