Enterprising Women: Gender, Race, and Power in the Revolutionary Atlantic

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United Kingdom, Women on 2018-04-29 20:41Z by Steven

Enterprising Women: Gender, Race, and Power in the Revolutionary Atlantic

University of Georgia Press
2015-01-15
240 pages
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-4455-3
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-5387-6

Kit Candlin, Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
The University of Newcastle, Australia

Cassandra Pybus, Professor of History
University of Sydney

Recovered histories of entrepreneurial women of color from the Caribbean

In the Caribbean colony of Grenada in 1797, Dorothy Thomas signed the manumission documents for her elderly slave Betty. Thomas owned dozens of slaves and was well on her way to amassing the fortune that would make her the richest black resident in the nearby colony of Demerara. What made the transaction notable was that Betty was Dorothy Thomas’s mother and that fifteen years earlier Dorothy had purchased her own freedom and that of her children. Although she was just one remove from bondage, Dorothy Thomas managed to become so rich and powerful that she was known as the Queen of Demerara.

Dorothy Thomas’s story is but one of the remarkable acounts of pluck and courage recovered in Enterprising Women. As the microbiographies in this book reveal, free women of color in Britain’s Caribbean colonies were not merely the dependent concubines of the white male elite, as is commonly assumed. In the capricious world of the slave colonies during the age of revolutions, some of them were able to rise to dizzying heights of success. These highly entrepreneurial women exercised remarkable mobility and developed extensive commercial and kinship connections in the metropolitan heart of empire while raising well-educated children who were able to penetrate deep into British life.

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Redrawing the Historical Past: History, Memory, and Multiethnic Graphic Novels

Posted in Anthologies, Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-27 01:53Z by Steven

Redrawing the Historical Past: History, Memory, and Multiethnic Graphic Novels

University of Georgia Press
2018-04-01
368 pages
79 b&w images
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-5201-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-5200-8

Edited by:

Martha J. Cutter, Professor of English and Africana Studies
University of Connecticut

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Professor of English and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

An innovative collection that explores how multiethnic graphic novels investigate and remake U.S. history

Redrawing the Historical Past examines how multiethnic graphic novels portray and revise U.S. history. This is the first collection to focus exclusively on the interplay of history and memory in multiethnic graphic novels. Such interplay enables a new understanding of the past. The twelve essays explore Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece’s Incognegro, Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints, GB Tran’s Vietnamerica, Scott McCloud’s The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln, Art Spiegelman’s post-Maus work, and G. Neri and Randy DuBurke’s Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, among many others.

The collection represents an original body of criticism about recently published works that have received scant scholarly attention. The chapters confront issues of history and memory in contemporary multiethnic graphic novels, employing diverse methodologies and approaches while adhering to three main guidelines. First, using a global lens, contributors reconsider the concept of history and how it is manifest in their chosen texts. Second, contributors consider the ways in which graphic novels, as a distinct genre, can formally renovate or intervene in notions of the historical past. Third, contributors take seriously the possibilities and limitations of these historical revisions with regard to envisioning new, different, or even more positive versions of both the present and future. As a whole, the volume demonstrates that graphic novelists use the open and flexible space of the graphic narrative page—in which readers can move not only forward but also backward, upward, downward, and in several other directions—to present history as an open realm of struggle that is continually being revised.

Contributors: Frederick Luis Aldama, Julie Buckner Armstrong, Katharine Capshaw, Monica Chiu, Jennifer Glaser, Taylor Hagood, Caroline Kyungah Hong, Angela Lafien, Catherine H. Nguyen, Jeffrey Santa Ana, and Jorge Santos.

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Slavery and Freedom in Texas: Stories from the Courtroom, 1821–1871

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Texas, United States on 2017-11-09 03:21Z by Steven

Slavery and Freedom in Texas: Stories from the Courtroom, 1821–1871

University of Georgia Press
2017-11-01
258 pages
2 b&w photos, 8 maps
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-5133-9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-5163-6

Jason A. Gillmer, John J. Hemmingson Chair in Civil Liberties and Professor of Law
Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington

Riveting trials that exposed conflicting attitudes toward race and liberty

In these absorbing accounts of five court cases, Jason A. Gillmer offers intimate glimpses into Texas society in the time of slavery. Each story unfolds along boundaries—between men and women, slave and free, black and white, rich and poor, old and young—as rigid social orders are upset in ways that drive people into the courtroom.

One case involves a settler in a rural county along the Colorado River, his thirty-year relationship with an enslaved woman, and the claims of their children as heirs. A case in East Texas arose after an owner refused to pay an overseer who had shot one of her slaves. Another case details how a free family of color carved out a life in the sparsely populated marshland of Southeast Texas, only to lose it all as waves of new settlers “civilized” the county. An enslaved woman in Galveston who was set free in her owner’s will—and who got an uncommon level of support from her attorneys—is the subject of another case. In a Central Texas community, as another case recounts, citizens forced a Choctaw native into court in an effort to gain freedom for his slave, a woman who easily “passed” as white.

The cases considered here include Gaines v. Thomas, Clark v. Honey, Brady v. Price, State v. Ashworth, and Webster v. Heard. All of them pitted communal attitudes and values against the exigencies of daily life in an often harsh place. Here are real people in their own words, as gathered from trial records, various legal documents, and many other sources. People of many colors, from diverse backgrounds, weave their way in and out of the narratives. We come to know what mattered most to them—and where those personal concerns stood before the law.

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New Perspectives on James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-07-21 19:05Z by Steven

New Perspectives on James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

University of Georgia Press
2017-07-15
272 pages
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-5097-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-5096-7

Edited by

Noelle Morrissette, Associate Professor of English
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) exemplified the ideal of the American public intellectual as a writer, educator, songwriter, diplomat, key figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and first African American executive of the NAACP. Originally published anonymously in 1912, Johnson’s novel The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man is considered one of the foundational works of twentieth-century African American literature, and its themes and forms have been taken up by other writers, from Ralph Ellison to Teju Cole.

Johnson’s novel provocatively engages with political and cultural strains still prevalent in American discourse today, and it remains in print over a century after its initial publication. New Perspectives contains fresh essays that analyze the book’s reverberations, the contexts within which it was created and received, the aesthetic and intellectual developments of its author, and its continuing influence on American literature and global culture.

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Paisley Rekdal Wins the 2016 AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-10-11 00:49Z by Steven

Paisley Rekdal Wins the 2016 AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction

University of Georgia Press
2016-10-05


Paisley Rekdal (photo credit: Austen Diamond)

Congratulations to Paisley Rekdal for winning this year’s Association of Writers & Writing Programs Award for Creative Nonfiction with her work The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam. Rekdal is an essayist, photographer, and poet. She is the author of The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, a book of essays; a photo-text memoir called Intimate; and five books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls without Pants, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope, Imaginary Vessels, and Animal Eye. She has received numerous awards and fellowships for her work. She currently holds the position of managing editor at Mapping Salt Lake City, a community-written web atlas of Salt Lake City of which she is creator. She is a professor of English at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and holds a Master of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Paisley Rekdal’s The Broken Country will be published by the University of Georgia Press in the fall of 2017…

Read the entire press release here.

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Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2016-05-09 01:06Z by Steven

Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence

University of Georgia Press
May 2016
336 pages
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-4956-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-4957-2
Author Website

Edited by:

Chad Williams, Associate Professor of African & Afro-American Studies
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Kidada E. Williams, Associate Professor of History
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michgan

Keisha N. Blain, Assistant Professor of History
University of Iowa

On June 17, 2015, a white supremacist entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and sat with some of its parishioners during a Wednesday night Bible study session. An hour later, he began expressing his hatred for African Americans, and soon after, he shot nine church members dead, the church’s pastor and South Carolina state senator, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, among them. The ensuing manhunt for the shooter and investigation of his motives revealed his beliefs in white supremacy and reopened debates about racial conflict, southern identity, systemic racism, civil rights, and the African American church as an institution.

In the aftermath of the massacre, Professors Chad Williams, Kidada Williams, and Keisha N. Blain sought a way to put the murder—and the subsequent debates about it in the media—in the context of America’s tumultuous history of race relations and racial violence on a global scale. They created the Charleston Syllabus on June 19, starting it as a hashtag on Twitter linking to scholarly works on the myriad of issues related to the murder. The syllabus’s popularity exploded and is already being used as a key resource in discussions of the event.

Charleston Syllabus is a reader—a collection of new essays and columns published in the wake of the massacre, along with selected excerpts from key existing scholarly books and general-interest articles. The collection draws from a variety of disciplines—history, sociology, urban studies, law, critical race theory—and includes a selected and annotated bibliography for further reading, drawing from such texts as the Confederate constitution, South Carolina’s secession declaration, songs, poetry, slave narratives, and literacy texts. As timely as it is necessary, the book will be a valuable resource for understanding the roots of American systemic racism, white privilege, the uses and abuses of the Confederate flag and its ideals, the black church as a foundation for civil rights activity and state violence against such activity, and critical whiteness studies.

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The Mulatta Concubine: Terror, Intimacy, Freedom, and Desire in the Black Transatlantic

Posted in Africa, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States, Women on 2016-02-03 03:32Z by Steven

The Mulatta Concubine: Terror, Intimacy, Freedom, and Desire in the Black Transatlantic

University of Georgia Press
2016-01-15
248 pages
8 b&w photos
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-4896-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-4897-1
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-5384-5

Lisa Ze Winters, Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Exploring the geographies, genealogies, and concepts of race and gender of the African diaspora produced by the Atlantic slave trade

Popular and academic representations of the free mulatta concubine repeatedly depict women of mixed black African and white racial descent as defined by their sexual attachment to white men, and thus they offer evidence of the means to and dimensions of their freedom within Atlantic slave societies. In The Mulatta Concubine, Lisa Ze Winters contends that the uniformity of these representations conceals the figure’s centrality to the practices and production of diaspora.

Beginning with a meditation on what captive black subjects may have seen and remembered when encountering free women of color living in slave ports, the book traces the echo of the free mulatta concubine across the physical and imaginative landscapes of three Atlantic sites: Gorée Island, New Orleans, and Saint Domingue (Haiti). Ze Winters mines an archive that includes a 1789 political petition by free men of color, a 1737 letter by a free black mother on behalf of her daughter, antebellum newspaper reports, travelers’ narratives, ethnographies, and Haitian Vodou iconography. Attentive to the tenuousness of freedom, Ze Winters argues that the concubine figure’s manifestation as both historical subject and African diasporic goddess indicates her centrality to understanding how free and enslaved black subjects performed gender, theorized race and freedom, and produced their own diasporic identities.

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Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory

Posted in Biography, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2015-01-15 02:11Z by Steven

Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory

University of Georgia Press
2015-05-15
136 pages
8 b&w photos
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-3802-6
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-4724-0
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-4832-2

Barbara McCaskill, Associate Professor of English and co-director of the Civil Rights Digital Library
University of Georgia

How William and Ellen Craft’s escape from slavery, their activism, and press accounts figured during the antislavery movement of the mid-1800s and Reconstruction

he spectacular 1848 escape of William and Ellen Craft (1824–1900; 1826–1891) from slavery in Macon, Georgia, is a dramatic story in the annals of American history. Ellen, who could pass for white, disguised herself as a gentleman slaveholder; William accompanied her as his “master’s” devoted slave valet; both traveled openly by train, steamship, and carriage to arrive in free Philadelphia on Christmas Day. In Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery, Barbara McCaskill revisits this dual escape and examines the collaborations and partnerships that characterized the Crafts’ activism for the next thirty years: in Boston, where they were on the run again after the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law; in England; and in Reconstruction-era Georgia. McCaskill also provides a close reading of the Crafts’ only book, their memoir, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom, published in 1860.

Yet as this study of key moments in the Crafts’ public lives argues, the early print archive—newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, legal documents—fills gaps in their story by providing insight into how they navigated the challenges of freedom as reformers and educators, and it discloses the transatlantic British and American audiences’ changing reactions to them. By discussing such events as the 1878 court case that placed William’s character and reputation on trial, this book also invites readers to reconsider the Crafts’ triumphal story as one that is messy, unresolved, and bittersweet. An important episode in African American literature, history, and culture, this will be essential reading for teachers and students of the slave narrative genre and the transatlantic antislavery movement and for researchers investigating early American print culture.

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Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean: Irish, Africans, and the Construction of Difference

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2014-11-09 17:59Z by Steven

Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean: Irish, Africans, and the Construction of Difference

University of Georgia Press
2013-11-15
256 pages
18 b&w photos, 1 map
Trim size: 6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8203-4505-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-4662-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-4634-2

Jenny Shaw, Assistant Professor of History
University of Alabama

A new examination of the experiences of Irish and Africans in the English Caribbean

Set along both the physical and social margins of the British Empire in the second half of the seventeenth century, Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean explores the construction of difference through the everyday life of colonial subjects. Jenny Shaw examines how marginalized colonial subjects—Irish and Africans—contributed to these processes. By emphasizing their everyday experiences Shaw makes clear that each group persisted in its own cultural practices; Irish and Africans also worked within—and challenged—the limits of the colonial regime. Shaw’s research demonstrates the extent to which hierarchies were in flux in the early modern Caribbean, allowing even an outcast servant to rise to the position of island planter, and underscores the fallacy that racial categories of black and white were the sole arbiters of difference in the early English Caribbean.

The everyday lives of Irish and Africans are obscured by sources constructed by elites. Through her research, Jenny Shaw overcomes the constraints such sources impose by pushing methodological boundaries to fill in the gaps, silences, and absences that dominate the historical record. By examining legal statutes, census material, plantation records, travel narratives, depositions, interrogations, and official colonial correspondence, as much for what they omit as for what they include, Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean uncovers perspectives that would otherwise remain obscured. This book encourages readers to rethink the boundaries of historical research and writing and to think more expansively about questions of race and difference in English slave societies.

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William Wells Brown: A Reader

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2014-09-29 19:04Z by Steven

William Wells Brown: A Reader

University of Georgia Press
2008-12-15
488 pages
6 b&w photos
Trim size: 6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8203-3223-9
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-3224-6
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-8203-3634-3

William Wells Brown (1814–1884)

Edited by:

Ezra Greenspan, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor of English
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

Born into slavery in Kentucky, William Wells Brown (1814–1884) was kept functionally illiterate until after his escape at the age of nineteen. Remarkably, he became the most widely published and versatile African American writer of the nineteenth century as well as an important leader in the abolitionist and temperance movements.

Brown wrote extensively as a journalist but was also a pioneer in other literary genres. His many groundbreaking works include Clotel, the first African American novel; The Escape: or, A Leap for Freedom, the first published African American play; Three Years in Europe, the first African American European travelogue; and The Negro in the American Rebellion, the first history of African American military service in the Civil War. Brown also wrote one of the most important fugitive slave narratives and a striking array of subsequent self-narratives so inventively shifting in content, form, and textual presentation as to place him second only to Frederick Douglass among nineteenth-century African American autobiographers.

Ezra Greenspan has selected the best of Brown’s work in a range of fields including fiction, drama, history, politics, autobiography, and travel. The volume opens with an introductory essay that places Brown and his work in a cultural and political context. Each chapter begins with a detailed introductory headnote, and the contents are closely annotated; there is also a selected bibliography. This reader offers an introduction to the work of a major African American writer who was engaged in many of the important debates of his time.

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