The last few years in particular have seen a re-popularization of slave narratives: from Tarantino’s fictional Django Unchained to the award-winning 12 Years a Slave. But why did ex-slaves argue for their humanity through narratives rife with depictions of life in a brutal system which treated them as beasts? What were the stakes and aims for ex-slaves narrating their fight from savage beast to man? And what can we learn from them now?
Maisha Wester, an Associate Professor in Indiana University’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and author of African American Gothic: Screams from Shadowed Places.
Stephanie Li, the Susan D. Gubar Chair in Literature and professor in the Department of English, and author of Something Akin to Freedom: The Choice of Bondage in Narratives by African American Women, and most recently of Signifying without Specifying: Racial Discourse in the Age of Obama.
Discussed in the program:
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Written by Herself, by Harriet Jacobs.
My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass
The Bondwoman’s Narrative, by Hannah Crafts
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Social Media: Carissa Barrett
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford