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POSTPONED Nicole Aljoe on Creole Testimonies in the Archives


Please join us for our first p19 meeting of 2021! Nicole Aljoe will give A TALK (notice unusual format - no pre-circulated reading) on Thursday February 11th at 4:30 pm Eastern:

“Creole Testimonies in the Archives: Caribbean Female Slave Narratives and Revisions of Voice, Memory, and Metadata”

Please RSVP here if you plan to attend and we will send you the Zoom link on February 10th.

Nicole writes:

Recent scholarship has made clear how closer examination, coupled with reading against the traditional grain, reveals more traces of the lives and voices of enslaved Black people documented in the archives. In addition to this work, innovations in digital tools and techniques have also played a major and significant role in recovering these ‘other’ voices, previously ‘hidden’ or ‘undervalued’ in the archives. Focusing on representations of the voices of enslaved Afro-Caribbean women as a case study, this talk will explore the connections between these two literary strategies, not only to highlight the crucial ways in which these ephemeral and often fragmentary “creole testimonies” of enslaved women can contribute to greater understandings of the possibilities of their lives within Caribbean Colonial societies, but also to offer a model of the productive ways in which digital tools informed by an understanding of Black life “as deep rich, full of infinite gender possibilities, kinship narratives, and affective knowledge” (J.M. Johnson), can complicate discursive and archival geographies and consequently facilitate more effective efforts to decolonize the archives of African Atlantic slavery.

Nicole N. Aljoe is Director of Africana Studies Program and Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Northeastern University. She is Co-director of The Early Caribbean Digital Archive and the Early Black Boston Digital Almanac, both associated with Northeastern’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks and the Snell Library’s Digital Scholarship Group. Her research focuses on 18th and 19th Century Black Atlantic and Caribbean literatures with a specialization on the slave narrative and representations of Black voices. In addition to teaching in these areas, she has published essays and book chapters on these topics in The Journal of Early American Literature, African American Review, Anthurium, The Oxford Companion to African American Slave Narratives, and Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literature. In her monograph Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives from the British West Indies, 1709-1836 (Palgrave 2012) and in the co-edited collections Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (UVA Press, 11/2014) and, most recently, A Literary History of the Early Anglophone Caribbean: Islands in the Stream (Palgrave/Springer, April 2018), she has extensively explored the myriad ways in which the voices of subalterns have appeared in the archives. Currently, she is at work on two new projects that extend this research in productive ways: in the first, she uses a variety of digital tools to examine representations of Caribbean Women of Color produced in Europe and England between 1780 and 1840. And in the second, she explores relationships between narratives of black lives and the rise of the novel in Europe and the Americas in the 18th century.

Please rememberto RSVP!