Tuesday 10th May 2022 – Jessica Parr (Simmons University, Programming Historian) Slavery, Citizenship, and Double-Consciousness in the Black Atlantic: A Textual Analysis of Racialized Language in Early Modern Discourse

This seminar is 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm BST, live on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86722736492?pwd=NEx0dkJhWXpsMC9uYzgzOFBXQ3hxdz09.

Session Chair: Mia Ridge

Abstract: Black writers navigating the politics of the Early Modern Atlantic required specific forms of double-consciousness (Gilroy, 1993). The act of writing against the transatlantic slave trade, and the degradations of slavery and colonization was revolutionary. It was a challenge to whiteness in humanizing those of African descent and highlighting the injustices of slavery. Yet, owing to the very structures designed to codify and perpetuate slavery and other unfreedoms, whiteness was inescapable. This paper will discuss some preliminary textual analysis work, using R-language on a corpus of early Black print culture to explore the tensions between Diaspora and the Black Atlantic as part of double-consciousness among Black writers who searched for citizenship and freedom for the dispossessed.

Bio: Jessica Parr is a teacher-scholar who specializes in the Atlantic World with particular interests in the study of slavery, memory studies, and the digital humanities. She is on the editorial board for The Programming Historian.

Her first book, Inventing George Whitefield: Race, Revivalism, and the Making of a Religious Icon was published by the University Press of Mississippi (cloth 2015; pbk 2016). She is currently at work on a book that explores the meanings of “slavery” and “freedom” in the British and Black Atlantic Worlds between 1660 and 1830.

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