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Reading Responses ^top

Abolitionism + Slave Narratives:

Reading Response 6 (Abolitionism 1):
Please choose at least two from the accounts in the section "Opinions on Slavery" (Oroonoko Norton Critical Edition 159-78) comment on what struck you in these texts. Possible questions you could ask yourself might include (but are not restricted to) the following: Can the text be read as (proto-)abolitionist? In which ways is slavery criticised (or possibly defended)? Can you see a development towards abolitionist thinking in the texts?
Reading Response 6
Reading Response 7 (History of Mary Prince):
Characterise a typical slave narrative, using Mary Prince's account as your example – which elements does her narrative contain? If you want to, you can refer to Mungo's 'failed slave narrative' in A Harlot's Progress. Please comment: does Mary Prince's gender have any impact on her tale?
Reading Response 7
Reading Response 8 (Equiano, Interesting Narrative 1):
Equiano's autobiography has often been treated as a model slave narrative. By characterising the stages of the 1st volume, can you figure out why? Comment on his depiction of West Africa, the Middle Passages, and his depictions of violence.
Reading Response 8

David Dabydeen, A Harlot's Progress:

Reading Response 4:
As the title of the novel, which refers to William Hogarth's series of engravings, indicates, David Dabydeen writes back to a visual tradition of representing Atlantic slavery in engravings and paintings (see especially plate 2). One could argue that the novel writes slavery into Hogarth's engravings – please comment.
Reading Response 4
Reading Response 5:
It is possible to read Mungo's narrative(s) as a narrative of trauma – please comment. Do you see other possibilities that allow readers to make sense of the conflicting accounts?
Reading Response 5

Background 2: Slaves

Reading Response 3:
Please choose at least two from the accounts we will discuss next week and comment on what struck you in these texts. Possible questions you could ask yourself might include (but are not restricted to) the following: Is the texts’ stance towards slavery ambivalent? How are slaves/slave families/slave communities depicted? Are the slavers/colonists seen critically?
Reading Response 3

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko:

Reading Response 1:
Comment on the structure of Oroonoko – how do parts 1 and 2 differ (in style, content, etc.)?
Reading Response 1
Reading Response 2:
Since the time of its publication, Oroonoko has been recognised as an antislavery text. At the same time, critics such as Laura Brown have pointed out that Behn's depiction of slavery in the text is neither coherent nor fully critical. Please comment on these conflicting views of the novel and the 'racial politics' of the text itself.
Reading Response 2

Downloads ^top


Abolitionism

David Dabydeen, A Harlot's Progress
ppt Harlot's Progress
Recap 06 (Background, Questions, Structure)


Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
ppt Behn, Oroonoko 2
Recap 03, Montaigne - 'Of Cannibals'


Organisation + Background
Recap 02, Group Work Morgan
ppt Post-Colonialism (Theory)
William Blake, The Little Black Boy
Course Schedule, Literature (no password)


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