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Palimpsest and Creolité: Representations of Slave women in the Caribbean in the long eighteenth century by Kerry Sinanan (Visiting Fellow)
May 18, 2018 @ 4:00 pm
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This talk examines representations of slave women, focusing especially on representations of breasts and breastfeeding, in order to read fully the tensions and contradictions between economics, ‘race’, sexuality and maternity in plantation slavery. The sources reveal the impossible position of the female slave who is at once a mother and a commodity to be exploited for labor and sex, existing in a world which denies her maternal feelings while depending on her capacity for reproduction. The talk focuses on a range of visual texts, focusing on the work of Agostino Brunias in particular.
‘A Linen Market with a Linen-stall and Vegetable Seller in the West Indies’, Agostino Brunias ca. 1780. With thanks to the Yale Center for British Art.