Transatlantic Slavery

Aus Iaawiki

Sommersemester 2019

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Course Information
Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154521 Transatlantic Slavery 2 HS Mo 12:15 – 13:45 R. 3.112 Hologa
Course Description

The profits gained through slavery and the Transatlantic slave trade are not only part of Britain’s wealth – past and present –, but continue to shape the nation’s collective memory, as well as discourses and concepts of ‘race’ and the ‘Black Body’. As soon as the trade was abolished in 1807 – and emancipation finally achieved in 1833 – Abolition was seen as a demonstration of the nation’s commitment to liberty and proof of Britain being the most progressive and civilised culture in the world. But how could the system of slavery be upheld for so long, when it fundamentally contradicted ideas that already had been there since the Enlightenment, concerning individual liberty, equality and human rights?
In this seminar, we will study a wide range of texts that represent and fictionalise ‘Blackness’, slavery, colonialism and the Transatlantic slave trade – from Barry Unsworth’s Booker-prize winning novel (Sacred Hunger, 1992), via James Robertson’s Joseph Knight (2003), to the genre of the slave narrative (excerpts by several authors) and abolitionist literature, the visual arts, food culture, famous court cases and legal debates, to the feature film Twelve Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013). In addition, we will explore a number of theoretical approaches to the topic of imperialism, postcolonial studies, abolitionism, the relation of capitalism, slavery and ‘race’, as well as questions of power, domination and the racialized body in Cultural Studies.
Course requirements will be discussed in the first session.


You should purchase and (begin to) read the two novels (Joseph Knight, Sacred Hunger – any edition is fine) prior to the semester start. All other texts will be made available on Moodle.

2009 703, 704 601, 1001 601, 701, 702, 1001 703
2016 601, 703, 704 601, 1001 601, 701, 702, 1001 703
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:
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