The study of something termed Arab/Islamic slavery has flourished in recent years. Through a close reading of a seminal text, ‘Aja’ib al-athar fi’l-tarajim wa’l-akhbar by the late eighteenth-century Ottoman scholar ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, Gubara’s essay critically engages this literature and its key organizing concepts: namely, the ideas of race, slavery, and freedom. In place of the free-unfree, black-white dichotomies pervading contemporary understandings of labor and subjectivity, the essay calls for greater attention to other concepts and grammars before and outside of Europe.

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