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MCLA Professor Amanda Laury Kleintop to Present “Abolishing Property Rights in People in the U.S. Civil War and American Memory” on April 5

NORTH ADAMS, MASS.—MCLA Assistant Professor of History Dr. Laury Kleintop will present “The Balance of Freedom: Abolishing Property Rights in People in the US Civil War and American Memory” at noon on April 5, via zoom.


Presented as part of The Mind’s Eye Spring 2022 Works in Progress Lecture Series, this event is free and open to the public. To register, visit


Though enslavement and the trade in Black bodies once existed throughout the United States, Americans often frame slavery as a southern problem. In this talk, Dr. Kleintop argues that the nation built this myth after the Civil War during debates over whether to pay former enslavers for the value of freed people. When the Fourteenth Amendment successfully nullified white southerners’ claims for compensation in 1868, Americans celebrated immediate, uncompensated emancipation as an inevitable outcome of the war and distanced themselves from the legal and economic legacies of chattel slavery.


This is the third iteration of The Mind’s Eye’s Faculty Works-in-Progress Colloquium series, in which MCLA faculty members share their current research or creative projects and benefit from questions and discussion.


About Dr. Amanda Laury Kleintop 

Amanda Laury Kleintop is Assistant Professor of History at MCLA. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University, among others. It has been published in Slavery & Abolition, and she is completing her first book.


About The Mind’s Eye 

First founded in 1977 as print publication featuring MCLA faculty’s research and creative projects, The Mind’s Eye has now pivoted to multimodal research and praxis initiative anchored in interdisciplinary academic programming in and beyond the Berkshires. Continuing a tradition of showcasing faculty excellence and expertise, the new direction of The Mind’s Eye includes innovative forums for exhibiting faculty research, such as Works-In-Progress Colloquia and Faculty Book Writing & Publishing Panel Discussion. An incubator for collaborative interdisciplinary projects, like CARE SYLLABUS, The Mind’s Eye is a platform for dynamic partnerships with neighboring institutions such as MASS MoCA. As a research and praxis initiative, The Mind’s Eye aims to expand professional development opportunities and emphasize lifelong learning for faculty and staff.


About MCLA:
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, as leaders, communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 127-year commitment to public education, we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For nine of the last 11 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Since the list was created, MCLA has risen to #21 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and ranks first among all Massachusetts schools, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants.
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