Impossible Witnesses : Truth, Abolitionism, and Slave Testimony
By: McBride, Dwight.Material type: TextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: New York : NYU Press, 2002Edition: 1.Description: 1 online resource (223 p.).ISBN: 9780814759738.Subject(s): African Americans -- Biography -- History and criticism | African Americans -- Intellectual life -- 19th century | African Americans in literature | American prose literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism | American prose literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism | Antislavery movements -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Autobiography -- African American authors | Slavery in literature | Slaves -- United States -- Biography -- History and criticism | Slaves -- United States -- Intellectual life | Slaves’ writings, American -- History and criticismGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Impossible Witnesses : Truth, Abolitionism, and Slave TestimonyDDC classification: 306.3/62/0973 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents; Acknowledgments; 1 Introduction: Bearing Witness: Memory, Theatricality,the Body, and Slave Testimony; 2 Abolitionist Discourse: A Transatlantic Context; Abolitionist Discourse and Romanticism; Reflections on Abolitionist Discourse in England; African Humanity and the Possibility of Rage in Edgeworth,Cowper, and Opie; On Whiteness and Humanity: The Example of Blake's"The Little Black Boy"; Reflections on Abolitionist Discourse in the U.S.; Emerson and the Fugitive Slave Law: Toward a Theoryof Whiteness; Troping the Slave: Margaret Fuller's Review of Douglass'sNarrative
The Body as Evidence: Garrison's Defense of DavidWalker's Appeal3 "I Know What a Slave Knows": Mary Prince as Witness, orthe Rhetorical Uses of Experience; 4 Appropriating the Word: Phillis Wheatley, ReligiousRhetoric, and the Poetics of Liberation; 5 Speaking as "the African": Olaudah Equiano's MoralArgument against Slavery; 6 Consider the Audience: Witnessing to the DiscursiveReader in Douglass's Narrative; Afterword; Notes; Bibliography; Index; About the Author
Even the most cursory review of black literary production during the nineteenth century indicates that its primary concerns were the issues of slavery, racial subjugation, abolitionist politics and liberation. How did the writers of these narratives "bear witness" to the experiences they describe? At a time when a hegemonic discourse on these subjects already existed, what did it mean to "tell the truth" about slavery?. Impossible Witnesses explores these questions through a study of fiction, poetry, essays, and slave narratives from the abolitionist era. Linking the racialized discourses of slavery and Romanticism, it boldly calls for a reconfiguration of U.S. and British Romanticism that places slavery at its center. Impossible Witnesses addresses some of the major literary figures and representations of slavery in light of discourses on natural rights and law, offers an account of Foucauldian discourse analysis as it applies to the problem of "bearing witness," and analyzes specific narratives such as "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass," and "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.". A work of great depth and originality, Impossible Witnesses renders traditional interpretations of Romanticism impossible and places Dwight A. McBride at the forefront of studies in race and literature.
Description based upon print version of record.