- About the Contributors
- Slave Narratives and Historical Memory
- Slave Narratives and Archival Research
- Slave Narratives and Historical Understanding
- Slave Narratives and U.S. Legal History
- The WPA Narratives as Historical Sources
- The Other Slave Narratives: The Works Progress Administration Interviews
- Lost in the Archives: The Pension Bureau Files
- The Witness of African American Folkways: The Landscape of Slave Narratives
- The Slave Narrative as Material Text
- Reading Communities: Slave Narratives and the Discursive Reader
- A Reflection on the Slave Narrative and American Literature
- The Slave Narrative and Visual Culture
- Slave Narratives, 1865–1900
- “This Horrible Exhibition”: Sexuality in Slave Narratives
- “There is Might in Each”: Slave Narratives and Black Feminism
- “I Rose a Freeman”: Power, Property, and the Performance of Manhood in the Slave Narratives
- Family and Community in Slave Narratives
- Collaborative American Slave Narratives
- Environmental Criticism and the Slave Narratives
- Locating Slave Narratives
- Slave Narratives and Hemispheric Studies
- Caribbean Slave Narratives
- Slave Narratives, the Romantic Imagination and Transatlantic Literature
- “Puzzling the Intervals”: Blind Tom and the Poetics of the Sonic Slave Narrative
- The Truth of Slave Narratives: Slavery’s Traces in Postmemory Narratives of Postemancipation Life
Abstract and Keywords
Slave Narratives and Visual Culture—This piece considers the operations of the visual elements within first-generation American slave narratives. The texts surveyed begin with Equiano’s Interesting Narrative (1797) and ends with John Barber’s A History of the Amistad Captives (1840). Special emphasis is given to the consideration of how new and evolving reproductive technologies, and lithography and photography in particular, were utilized in the slave narratives. A central concern is the extent to which slave narratives knowingly interrogated and subverted visual conventions, which had earlier been evolved to celebrate white male authors. In this context, the ingenious innovations of female portraiture within key texts by Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and William and Ellen Craft are revealed to express potent satiric and radical elements.
Marcus Wood is a painter, performance artist and filmmaker; since 2003 he has also been Professor of English at Sussex University. For the last thirty years he has made art and written books about how the traumatic memory of slavery and colonisation have been encoded in art and literature. His books include Blind Memory (2000), Slavery, Empathy and Pornography (2003), and The Horrible Gift of Freedom (2010).
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