English Department Faculty Forum: Srividhya Swaminathan

Please join us for the next
English Department Faculty Forum.

Srividhya Swaminathan will speak about Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century
British Imagination.

When & Where
3:30-4:30 PM
Spector Lounge
(H Building, 4th Floor)
Friday, November 1, 2013

Vidhya says: The term "slavery" had multiple connotations to early eighteenth-century audiences in Britain. I will be presenting my collection of essays, Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination, to explore the ways in which writers used slavery as a trope to evoke an emotional response in their audiences. These many invocations complicate our contemporary definition of slavery as solely referring to African slavery. As a test case, I present my reading of Daniel Defoe's Captain Singleton as a kind of proto-slave narrative that challenges the particular and race-based notion of African enslavement. Ultimately, I argue that the abolitionist movement in England could not have been so successful in gaining public sympathy had these broader definitions of slavery not existed.

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