Date: Thursday, February 29th, 2024 Time: 5:00 - 6:30 PM (reception following)
Date: Thursday, February 29th, 2024
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 PM (reception following)
Location: 411 Fayerweather Hall (1180 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027)
This talk explores the work of surfacing the history of sex in antebellum slavery. Unlike records from earlier periods of slaveholding in the Atlantic world, the archives of 19th century US slaveholders are abundant, yet that abundance is marked by the fictions and delusions that seduced and gripped the imaginations of slaveholding authors. Taking as a given that black women appear in fleeting and distorted forms in these records, this talk explores methods through which historians might reconstruct histories of black women’s survival on the backdrop of sex and slavery, with attention to the twin legacies of social history and ethical provocation in African American women’s history and black feminist theory.
Emily Owens is the David and Michelle Ebersman Assistant Professor of History at Brown University, and the author of Consent in the Presence of Force: Sexual Violence and Black Women’s Survival in Antebellum New Orleans. Her work broadly considers the ways that racism and misogyny get expressed in ordinary–and intimate–life.