Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth-century America
Oxford University Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 281 pages
In this provocative and original exploration of racial subjugation during slavery and its aftermath, Saidiya Hartman illumines the forms of terror and resistance that shaped black identity. Scenes of Subjection examines the forms of domination that usually go undetected; in particular, the
encroachments of power that take place through notions of humanity, enjoyment, protection, rights, and consent. By looking at slave narratives, plantation diaries, popular theater, slave performance, freedmen's primers, and legal cases, Hartman investigates a wide variety of scenes ranging from
the auction block and minstrel show to the staging of the self-possessed and rights-bearing individual of freedom. While attentive to the performance of power--the terrible spectacles of slaveholders' dominion and the innocent amusements designed to abase and pacify the enslaved--and the
entanglements of pleasure and terror in these displays of mastery, Hartman also examines the possibilities for resistance, redress and transformation embodied in black performance and everyday practice. This important study contends that despite the legal abolition of slavery, emergent notions of
individual will and responsibility revealed the tragic continuities between slavery and freedom. Bold and persuasively argued, Scenes of Subjection will engage readers in a broad range of historical, literary, and cultural studies.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century ...
Saidiya V. Hartman
No preview available - 1997
According accounts acts African agency Amendment American argued articulation body captive character chattel citizens Civil Rights common concern condition conduct consent considered Constitution context contract crime Culture dance defined depended described designated desire determined difference discourse distinctions domestic domination duty effect effort emancipation enactment enjoyment enslaved equality exercise existence expression fact feelings force forms freed freedom gender humanity important individual injury institution interests issues John labor less liberal liberty limited master meaning moral narrative natural Negro object one's owners pain particular performance person plantation pleasure Plessy political possession possible practices production protection question race racial rape Reconstruction redress regard regulation relations resistance responsibility secure seduction sentiment servitude sexual simply slave slavery social society song South status submission subordination suffering tion transformation University Press violation violence women York