American Postmemory: Slavery in Black and White (Panel)


American/Diaspora / Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Maria Rice Bellamy (City University of New York)

Recognizing that the New World economy was historically based on the system of slavery and that the United States came into being as a slave-holding nation, we recognize the lasting effects of slavery in all facets of contemporary US society and culture. This panel seeks papers analyzing contemporary representations of slave history from the black and white perspectives. While we are very familiar with African American representations of slavery in a number of cultural media, this panel is particularly interested in how contemporary representations of slavery created by people of European descent differ from those of African Americans. How is slavery remembered differently in black and white? What differing perspectives and worldviews are explored? From Valerie Martin's Property to Edward Ball’s Slaves in the Family to recent films like The Free State of Jones to institutions of higher learning exploring their historical engagement with slavery, how do white people and traditionally white institutions remember and represent slavery differently from black people and traditionally black institutions? Because the system of slavery was prevalent throughout the New World, we invite papers discussing international representations of slavery.
This panel seeks papers analyzing contemporary representations of slave history from the black and white perspectives. While we are very familiar with African American representations of slavery in a number of cultural media, this panel is particularly interested in how contemporary representations of slavery created by people of European descent differ from those of African Americans. How is slavery remembered differently in black and white? What differing perspectives and worldviews are explored? Because the system of slavery was prevalent throughout the New World, we also invite papers discussing international representations of slavery.