Traces and Memories of Slavery in the Atlantic World  book cover
1st Edition

Traces and Memories of Slavery in the Atlantic World

ISBN 9781032091860
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
316 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations


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Book Description

Traces and Memories deals with the foundation, mechanisms and scope of slavery-related memorial processes, interrogating how descendants of enslaved populations reconstruct the history of their ancestors when transatlantic slavery is one of the variables of the memorial process. While memory studies mark a shift from concern with historical knowledge of events to that of memory, the book seeks to bridge the memorial representations of historical events with the production and knowledge of those events. The book offers a methodological and epistemological reflection on the challenges that are raised by archival limitations in relation to slavery and how they can be overcome. It covers topics such as the historical and memorial legacy/ies of slavery, the memorialization of slavery, the canonization and patrimonialization of the memory of slavery, the places and conditions of the production of knowledge on slavery and its circulation, the heritage of slavery and the (re)construction of (collective) identity. By offering fresh perspectives on how slavery-related sites of memory have been retrospectively (re)framed or (re)shaped, the book probes the constraints which determine the inscription of this contentious memory in the public sphere. The volume will serve as a valuable resource in the area of slavery, memory, and Atlantic studies.

Table of Contents


Lawrence Aje and Nicolas Gachon

Part I: (Re)-constructing the Memory and History of Slavery and of the Slave Trade

1. Senegambia and the Atlantic World: African Voices on Slavery and the Slave Trade Through the Archive

Hilary Jones

2. Postbellum Slave Narratives as Historical Sources: Memories of Bondage and Realities of Freedom in Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave

Claire Bourhis-Mariotti

3. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo and Native Enslavement in California in History and Memory

Rebecca Anne Goetz

4. Subjective Interpretations of the Memory of Slavery: Solving and Expressing Internal Conflicts Through Genealogical Research

Ary Gordien

5. Tè Pa Konn Pèdi: What Rural Memory Has to Say About Haitian Freedom

Winter Rae Schneider

Part II: Re-membering Memory: Inscribing the Memory and History of Slavery in Public Space

6. The Ghosts of Whose Past?: Remembering and Remorse in the Body Politic

Ashraf H.A. Rushdy

7. From White Guilt to White Responsibility: The Traces of Racial Oppression in the United States’ Collective Memory

Anne Stefani

8. Remembering in Black and White: Memorializing Slavery in 21st-Century Louisiana

Nathalie Dessens

9. Lessons from Abingdon Plantation at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

Thomas A. Foster

10. Reconstructing a Dismantled Past: The Case of Afro-diasporic History in Ceará, Brazil

Tshombe Miles

11. Enslaved by History: Slavery’s Enduring Influence on the Memory of Pierre Toussaint

Ronald Angelo Johnson

12. Memorial Equality and Compensatory Public History in Charleston, South Carolina

Lawrence Aje

Part III: Artistic Memories of Slavery

13. The Memory of Slavery in the Urban Landscape of Alexandria, Virginia

Renée Ater

14. "The End is the Beginning and Lies Far Ahead": Time and Textuality in African American Visualizations of the Historical Past, 1990-2000

Isobel Elstob

15. Breathing Statues, Stone Sermons, Pastoral Trails: Memorializing Truth

Claudine Raynaud

16. Re-imagining Slavery in David Dabydeen’s A Harlot’s Progress

Nathalie Martinière

17. "A Modern Slave Song:" Reggae Music and the Memory of Slavery

David Bousquet

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Lawrence Aje is an Associate Professor of United States history at the University Paul-Valéry, Montpellier.

Nicolas Gachon is Associate Professor of American Studies at University Paul-Valéry, Montpellier.


"Artistic memorializations of slavery, including reggae music and statuary of Sojourner Truth, close out this informative and welcome entrant into studies of Atlantic slavery."

- B. A. Mann, University of Toledo, Highly Recommended CHOICE