Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

Research Expertise and Interest

slavery, African-American History, Women's History

Research Description

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers's primary research fields are slavery, African-American history, and U.S. women’s history. Her first book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, explores white girls' and women’s economic relationships to the institution of American slavery. She is currently at work on three new projects. Her first, Women of the Trade, reorients our understanding of the British Atlantic slave trade by centering the lives and experiences of English, African, and Afro-English women in its telling. Her second, Women, American Slavery, and the Law, is a “legal sequel” to her first book. Her third project, entitled “She had…a Womb Subjected to Bondage”: The Afro-Atlantic Origins of British Colonial Descent Law, examines the ways that West African customs and laws influenced may have influenced English thinking about matrilineal descent and their decisions to implement matrilineal descent laws in their North American colonies.




In the News

Unmasked: Many white women were Southern slave owners, too

In her new book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, UC Berkeley associate professor of history, expands our understanding of American slavery and the 19th century slave market with an investigation into the role of white women in the slave economy. She found they were active participants, profited from it and were as brutal as men in their management techniques.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
April 20, 2020
Nathan Deuel
Associate history professor Stephanie Jones-Rogers spent 10 years researching her book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, for which she won the 2019 Times Book Prize for history. The book details the central and sadistic role that white women played as slave owners in the antebellum South. According to this reviewer, Professor Jones-Rogers' extensive research, supported by legal documents, Confederate correspondence, and many other sources, show that "white women were hardly helpless observers or secret protestors, wilting on fainting couches in the salons of the American South. Rather, they were full and independent owners of slaves, deeply aware of and expert in the business of buying and selling them -- and worst of all, they were fully engaged in the cruelty, invention and conniving that kept a whole people in chains." For more on Professor Jones-Rogers' book, see this interview at Berkeley News.
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