Margaret Abruzzo’s book, Polemical Pain : Slavery, Cruelty and the Rise of Humanism, has just been released by Johns Hopkins University Press. The author discusses the development of humanitarianism and how the slavery issue helped to shape modern concepts of human responsibility for the suffering of others.
Abruzzo was a Haverford Gest Scholar in 2003 and spent four weeks in Special Collections conducting research on this topic. She graciously acknowledges the help of Haverford and the staff of Special Collection in this, her latest, publication.
In 2003 Abruzzo was just starting her research for her dissertation at the University of Notre Dame in History. At the time of her residency at Special Collections she focused her work on examining the place of pain in the rhetoric of slavery, public and private and was interested in comparing Quaker anti-slavery writings to proslavery proponents. Her time was well spent at Haverford and later she wrote, “I had an extremely productive time at Haverford, in large part because of your expertise.”
In 2004 Margaret Abruzzo won a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship awarded to doctoral students whose study will advance scholarship related to ethics and religion. This honor allowed her to continue her research full time and to complete her dissertation in 2005. Today Abruzzo is an assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama.